Facing An Uncertain Future
Dear Ministry Partner,
We’re sending this digital version of the November Coffee Break early, because we feel it is such an important and timely message.
When you wake up on the morning of November 4, one of three things will have happened: Joe Biden will be the new president, Donald Trump will continue as president, or the results of the election will be unclear and emotions and accusations will be running high.
As I considered this, I prayed deeply and asked Our Heavenly Father what He would want me to share with you. My mind went a million different directions as I pondered the fear, uncertainty, anger, and potential division that you, our country, and fellow believers might be facing after the election.
So I took a long, slow prayer walk and sensed the Holy Spirit giving me a very clear message to pass on to you. “Chip, tell My people there is something 100 times more important than who wins this election!” And that something is:
How They Respond to the Outcome—Regardless of Who Wins!
As important and vital as this election is, and all the implications for the United States, the Church, and the world, it will one day be a very small blip on the screen of history. What seems so overwhelming, important, and urgent today will pale as it fits into a far larger plan. Christ followers need to keep the “big picture” in mind in order to face the future with confidence.
As I sought to get that “big picture” perspective for myself the Lord vividly impressed four things on my mind:
1. To those who think I take sides in battles and elections, remind them of Jericho.
Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. –Joshua 5:13-15 NIV
The Point: God’s agenda and purposes will not be reduced to anyone’s battles or limited perspective on how things should progress; no matter how righteous we deem them to be. Personal submission to Almighty God, and reverent worship of Him are our first priority. Outcomes are to be left to His sovereign purposes after we have done all that we’re called to do.
2. To those who think the “sky is falling” because of the current crisis, chaos, or because the newly elected candidate threatens their future; remind them I’m sovereign.
For not from the east, nor from the west, nor from the desert comes exaltation; but God is the Judge; He puts down one and exalts another. -Psalm 75:6-7 NASB
The Lord has used all kinds of leaders, with all kinds of backgrounds, with all kinds of foibles to orchestrate and fulfill His sovereign purposes in world history. Today is no exception.
Scripture makes it clear, that some leaders are chosen by God to deliver His people, while others have been appointed to judge them. God uses faithful followers like Gideon, Deborah, and Moses as well as pagan leaders like Darius and Nebuchadnezzar.
3. For those who feel abandoned, disappointed or hopeless because of the growing evil, immorality and persecution they experience because of My name; remind them of what I told them: Trials are Inevitable!
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you. -1 Peter 4:12 NASB
These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation but take courage; I have overcome the world. -John 16:33 NASB
Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. -2 Timothy 3:12 NASB
This world is not heaven, so do not expect that following Jesus will mean your life will be easy or without suffering and persecution. In like manner, the United States is not the kingdom of God. It’s a country that God has chosen to bless greatly in the past because His Name and Word were honored. That’s no longer the case. We now live in a post-Christian nation and must adjust our expectations and assignment from the Lord accordingly.
4. Finally, and most importantly, remind My people that they are THE LIGHT of the world!
- LIGHT brings life, healing, love, and holiness.
- LIGHT prays for those who persecute them, loves their enemies, and does good deeds of kindness to all people so they will glorify their Father in heaven.
- LIGHT shines brightest in the darkness, and crisis and difficulties are not only times of CHAOS, but also of great OPPORTUNITY.
Those 4 Truths must shape our perspective and prepare us to fulfill our God-ordained mission regardless of who wins this election.
THE QUESTION: How do we let our LIGHT shine in this super-challenging, complex, and divisive environment? How do we practically face the future with confidence?
THE ANSWER: This is not new, nor uncharted territory for God’s people. Although extraordinarily difficult, a case can be made that God’s purposes seem to thrive when life is most difficult for His people.
The early Church was birthed at a time of political upheaval, brutality, and injustice. Racial tensions existed between Jew and Gentile both within and outside the church. 70% of the early Christians were slaves. After the burning of Rome, Christians were blamed and persecution skyrocketed.
Into this parallel context, God speaks through the half-brother of Jesus, the apostle James, and provides a message and a mandate about how to face the future with confidence.
His message is what I call The A.R.T. of Survival. Through an extraordinary series of circumstances in the last 90 days, I’ve had the privilege to teach this truth from God‘s Word to people all across India, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. In circumstances far more challenging than our own, the Lord has used this teaching to give them hope, perspective, and the strength to persevere.
Thanks to your financial support, we will be able to continue to meet this need for teaching, encouragement, and resources in the coming months for thousands of pastors around the world.
As I thought and prayed about what you would be facing in these days following the election; I wanted to help you, encourage you, and do what we are called to do—help Christians live like Christians.
My heart’s desire is that you will listen carefully to the Coffee Break audio and pass along this email (or link to this webpage) to your friends, family, and fellow Christians.
Now is not the time to blame, withdraw, retreat, or lose hope.
We were chosen for this time in history to make a difference—to be the salt, the light, and the love of God manifested in everyday life.
It will not be easy. We will need to think clearly, pray deeply, and draw near to God with the promise that He will draw near to us. Our God will give us all we need.
We cannot control what has or will happen in our country, or our circumstances—but we can control how we respond!
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. -James 1:2-4 NASB
In closing, I’m deeply humbled by your prayers and extraordinary financial support that have allowed us to respond in real time to the needs of believers here and around the world facing these significant challenges.
Facing the future together,
CEO and Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
P.S. We send Coffee Break each month to our ministry partners. However, this month we are also sending this letter more broadly to pastors in the hope that these insights may be of help as they address their congregations. In that spirit, you might consider forwarding this letter to your pastor. It may be a helpful resource as we face the future together.