2020 has certainly been a difficult year filled with turmoil and uncertainties. The upcoming Presidential Election on November 3 is shaping up to be more of the same as a record number of people have already voted, and with many more mail-in and absentee ballots coming in, it’s unlikely we will have a clear winner on Election Day.
1876 was an election year much like our current one. Political division was at it’s highest in the aftermath of the Civil War. People were divided over how to handle the freed slaves, the rights of the federal government versus states rights, Reconstruction, and the economy was still reeling from the 1873 Depression. More than 80% of eligible voters cast a ballot for either Democrat Samuel Tilden or Republican Rutherford B. Hayes. Tilden won the popular vote and was believed to be so far ahead on Election Night that newspapers declared him the winner the next day. However, widespread voter intimidation (especially against Blacks), and voter fraud allegations threw the legitimacy of 20 electoral votes into question. Tilden ended up being one Electoral College vote short of the 185 he needed to win. Since The Constitution didn’t have a way to distribute disputed electoral votes, Congress created a bipartisan commission of members of the U.S. House, Senate, and the Supreme Court to decide which man would be the 19th President. It was not until March 4, 1877 that the a deal was struck by the two parties declaring Hayes the winner. “The Democrats would allow the House of Representatives to recognize Hayes as the President. In exchange for that, the Republicans agreed that Hayes, when he got in, would remove federal troops from the South.” The Secretary of State at that time was Jeremiah Black, who later stated, “we can never expect such a thing as an honest election again.” What a great statement that has proved time and again to be accurate!
Christians have fasted and prayed for almost 40 days, and we must continue to do so, especially asking God for a clear winner on Tuesday. But if that doesn’t happen, what do we do? We must continue to trust God when any prayer is unanswered. We must continue to trust God when we don’t have the answers, when we are anxious about the future, and difficult circumstances continue.
Job trusted God when he lost all of his livestock. Job trusted God when he lost all of his wealth and all of his children. He trusted God when his wife and friends forsook and blamed him. Job continued to trust God even though God gave him no answer as to why he was facing all that difficulty. Job eventually said, “Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth” (Job 19:23-25).
We too can trust God no matter happens. Keep praying, keep believing, and keep trusting God! “Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength”(Isaiah 26:4).