”You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.”
Jesus faced the most difficult, the most painful time in His life (although it was what He had come into the world for) trusting in the Sovereignty of God. As His followers, we need to get there too.
Things will come into your life that hurt you. You won’t like them. You won’t want them. You will recoil from the pain. But you and I need to be able to look our biggest problems in the eye and say, ‘The only power you have over me is a loaned power. It comes from the highest Power of all.’ As Joseph came to see, there are things that people mean for harm that God means for good.
Two days ago, as I write, the American election took place. Beforehand, a lot of people were in consternation, and the sense of anxiety has perhaps heightened since the result. But the day before the election, a young American, a member of our family, wrote on ‘Facebook’ words to this effect that ”whatever happens tomorrow, Jesus is still Lord.” That is just about the most important pronouncement I have read about these recent political happenings.
If we had an election in the UK today, and woke up tomorrow morning to find Pontius Pilate in ‘number 10’; if in the wake of the American election Pontius Pilate entered the White House, I don’t think any of us, on either side of the Atlantic, would be too happy. But the truth remains that the ‘Pilate’s’ of this world only wield power that is given to them from above. God has a purpose in raising them up. But after a time He will replace them. He’s in charge; He’s running the show, not them. So let’s keep things in perspective.
As I prayed, after hearing that Donald Trump was about to win the election, I also felt rebuked. The news announcement that he was on his way to victory felt like a physical slap in the face. I could feel the shock hit my body. But in prayer, I thought, the only things I know about this man is what the media tells me. I have never met him. There is a real danger that I am judging someone when I don’t really know them. I remind myself today that wherever we live in the world, our responsibility is to pray for those in power. Jesus loves them, died for them, and wants to save them. We pray to the highest Power who put them in to office. He holds the king’s heart in His hand and can turn it like a watercourse wherever He wills. The American missionary, Frank Laubach, wrote many years ago about how we can enter the White House every day and influence proceedings by our prayers. Let’s resolve to pick up our prayer responsibility – starting now.
PRAYER: Lord, in your Sovereignty, you have raised up our leaders. I pray that you will bless them with your wisdom, and in your grace and mercy grant them the gift of salvation. Cause them to seek you.