The Government Will Rest on His Shoulders

Franklin Graham President and CEO, Samaritan’s Purse and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

Tens of millions of Americans flocked to the polls on November 8 to cast their ballots in one of the most crucial midterm elections in our nation’s history. Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives by a narrow margin, while Democrats retained control of the Senate.

Changing of the Government

Some people may be sad, some may be glad and some may be mad about the election results. One thing’s for sure — our success as a nation depends on God. Our country can’t turn its back on Him and expect His hand of blessing to continue. We need His help, protection and favor. Whether or not you agree with the candidates who just won, we are to pray for them. The only hope for America is God.

Over the past two years, we have had an administration that loudly promotes ungodly policies, even seeking to rebuke those who disagree with their immoral agenda. Crime is everywhere because we don’t understand the Biblical imperative that evil must be punished (Proverbs 11:21). LGBTQ advocacy has flourished because we don’t abide by God’s revealed truth that homosexuality is sinful and gender identity is sovereignly bestowed by Almighty God, who made us male and female. There is no such thing as a transgender person — it is simply rebellion against God’s wise design. 

“Those in political power come and go. As we pray for godly leaders and strive to be salt and light in our culture, we know that ‘our citizenship is in heaven.’”

I don’t know what the next few years may hold, but we certainly can pray and ask the Lord to move in the hearts of our newly elected authorities to make wise decisions in accord with God’s principles 

When the Bible tells us to pray for our leaders, it includes a promise for us. “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1-4). 

In other words, we are praying not only for a good and wise government, but that our leaders will exercise their authority in such a way that a favorable spiritual climate will exist for believers to peacefully live in their communities in sincere godliness and reverence, not under the thumb of evil policies and agendas. 

Of course, Christians through the millennia have been oppressed and persecuted. Think of the great Apostle Paul, who spent virtually his entire ministry, after the Damascus Road encounter with the risen Christ, suffering for the sake of the Gospel. After Paul’s dramatic conversion, the Lord told Ananias, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My Name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My Name’s sake” (Acts 9:15-16). 

Franklin Graham preaches with his interpreter in Milan, Italy.

And stand before kings he did, as he preached Christ before King Felix and King Agrippa during his time in prison in Caesarea. Then for another two years in Roman incarceration, members of Caesar’s own household came to saving faith as they heard Paul proclaim Christ. Nothing stopped him from boldly proclaiming the Gospel. Writing to the Philippian church from his Roman confinement, Paul could emphatically say, “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel” (Philippians 1:12).

That’s because Paul knew he served a risen King. No hostile Roman government, no political opposition, no pagan culture, no false religion, could stop him. This is just as true for believers today when we love Christ with all our hearts and set our minds to fully obey Him whatever the cost might be. 

Jesus Himself constantly taught on the Kingdom of God as He went from village to village and synagogue to synagogue. He was not the political and military king the Jews had long hoped for, but He is exactly the kind of King we need, the King who rules in the hearts of men and women who have been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and confess their allegiance to their Savior. 

As we look forward to Christmas and celebrate Christ’s birth, I’m reminded of Isaiah’s prophecy about the Savior, and how we can look forward to a glorious and endless day when the government will lean wholly on the Messiah. “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end” (Isaiah 9:6-7). 

Those in political power come and go. As we pray for godly leaders and strive to be salt and light in our culture, we know that “our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself” (Philippians 

3:20-21). Christ is coming for a second time to earth, this time as mighty warrior to judge the living and the dead and establish His millennial reign. There will be no opposition before the “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16). 

Until then we will do all we can to boldly advance His Kingdom through the preaching of the Gospel. I was just in Milan, Italy, for a Festival. An Italian conservative party has just taken power with promises of a new agenda and direction. That’s good, but far more important and life-changing, thousands in Milan heard the Gospel of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, and many made decisions to trust in Jesus as their Savior. Christ is now their sovereign King. For all eternity!

He will reign forever and ever. Hallelujah!  


Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version.

Decision magazine, DECEMBER 2022; ©2022 Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; used by permission, all rights reserved.

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