As a boy, I remember "watching" the epic chess battle between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer. It was aired on channel 13, the PBS station in New York, and a bell would ring, announcing the latest move. This, in turn, would be posted on the screen, after which the experts would debate the reason for the move.
Sometimes, they would be utterly baffled. Why would Fischer do this? It makes no sense. What was Spassky thinking?
Then, after playing out a number of potential scenarios, sometimes a dozen or more moves ahead, they would realize the strategy. It was absolute genius.
When it comes to the Lord, the one who inhabits eternity and who sees the end from the beginning (Isa.46:10, 57:15), He is always an infinite set of moves ahead. That should give us comfort and faith in the midst of the current crisis.
Think about it.
The greatest crime ever committed by human beings was to crucify the Son of God. Yet that was the act God used to make salvation available to the world. And without the crucifixion, there would be no Resurrection. Who saw this coming? Only the Lord Himself.
The book of Genesis tells us how the sons of Jacob (also known as Israel) sold their younger brother Joseph into slavery. They did it out of malice. They knew they would never see him again. They got rid of him for good.
Joseph then ended up in a dungeon in Egypt, falsely accused of a crime while serving as a slave. But it was there, in the dungeon, that he accurately interpreted the dreams of two fellow inmates.
Sometime later, this resulted in Joseph being brought before Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, to interpret his dreams. And this, in turn, led to him becoming Pharaoh's right-hand man. Literally, he went from the dungeon to the throne.
As a result of his position and the wisdom God gave him, Joseph ended up saving the region from famine, also saving the lives of his own brothers and their families.
Years later, when they were afraid he would retaliate against them, he said to them, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives" (Gen. 50:20, NIV).
In fact, what the brothers did to Joseph was downright evil, also causing their aged father years of mourning and grief. Yet God used this to save countless thousands of lives.
John 11 tells us when Jesus was informed that His good friend Lazarus was sick, He waited a few days before going to see him. Why? The Lord wanted him to die so He could resurrect Him from the dead. This would bring greater glory to God.
Had the Lord simply healed Lazarus by speaking a word the moment He learned Lazarus was sick, people would not have realized that Jesus Himself was the resurrection and the life (John 11:24-25). The event would not even be recorded in Scripture.
The worst-case scenario led to the best-case scenario, which is often how God works. That's just who He is. Have you seen this happen in your own life?
In the last century, there was no greater horror than the Holocaust, the most devastating attack on the Jewish people in history. Yet it is out of the ashes of the Holocaust that the modern state of Israel was born. And, from a natural point of view, without the horrific evil of the Holocaust, it is unlikely that there would have been enough support in the United Nations to recognize a Jewish state.
This, of course, does not minimize the ghastly loss of life. It simply reminds us that God brings good out of evil and light out of darkness. That is who He is.
What does this have to do with the elections?
Let's say that there is massive corruption taking place in the presidential elections. Let's say the pollsters were intentionally biased. Let's say that Big Tech and Big Money really are working against Trump.
Then the mess we are in right now, one which puts us precariously near an all-out war on the streets, will lead to the exposure of corruption on a level we have never seen. Let the light shine brightly! Let the darkness be exposed!
Conversely, if the corruption and darkness are being grossly exaggerated, the light will expose our gullibility, our willingness to believe almost anything, our propensity to be blinded by our biases. And for Christian Trump supporters who proclaimed him uniquely chosen by God and therefore called to a second term, the light would expose the degree to which we were seduced by a partisan political spirit.
I hope the seemingly impossible happens, that Trump is proven to be the rightfully reelected president, and that the prophecies about him prove true.
But what if a Biden-Harris presidency were needed to reveal the dangerous radicality of the left, leading to greater spiritual desperation in the church, leading to a spiritual awakening in the society? What if the worst-case scenario for tens of millions of conservative voters resulted in transforming millions of hearts in the years ahead?
I shared some thoughts on this on a Facebook livestream if you'd like to hear more about the spiritual side of things. For the moment, though, I encourage you to put your faith in God to work out His best purposes in the midst of chaos and crisis.
Hysteria and frenzy are not fruits of the Spirit. Faith and peace are.
And so, while I am deeply concerned about the state of our nation and know that many lives are at stake, I have a great sense of anticipation as well.
The ultimate grandmaster has a plan.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Evangelicals at the Crossroads: Will We Pass the Trump Test? Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or YouTube.
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