God’s Response to the Presidential Election

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Less than a week ago, Americans went to the polls and chose Donald J. Trump to be the 45th President of the United States. The aftermath of that election has been an aftermath unlike any other.

Many Americans are rejoicing that Trump was elected. Most of them believe that the other major candidate, Hillary Clinton, lacked personal integrity and would have disregarded citizens’ needs when they conflicted with her personal advantage; they also feared that her belief in every woman’s right to an abortion would lead to an untold number of babies being sacrificed for a mother’s convenience.

However, many other Americans are grieving. They see Trump as a man who will lead our country to trample on citizens’ rights and basic human dignity; they fear the results of the hate and racism which they believe Mr. Trump has espoused and which they believe others will also feel free to express in the wake of his election (as, indeed, has seemed to be happening).

Some of us have spent the past several days vilifying the “other” side. Others have questioned the Christianity of people who voted for (insert either candidate’s name here). Some have staged protests, mocked protestors, shouted things that should be unspeakable at authorities, and committed acts of violence or hate against people that aren’t like us. A growing number of us is begging everyone to just calm down and live peacefully with others even as we work to see the change we wish to see.

In the midst of all the emotions and ideas swirling around as we try to figure out how to go forward, I thought it would be wise to stop and consider what God thinks about the election.

I don’t presume to know the entire mind of God, but I do know this: God is not surprised that Donald Trump won. He knew from before the foundations of the world that Trump would win. Many Americans were surprised by the results, but God wasn’t. I know this, too: God’s plan was neither assured nor derailed by majority vote. God is not now scrambling to figure out what He will do in the wake of America’s decision. He knows exactly how He will work in and through Trump’s strengths and despite Trump’s weaknesses to bring about His plan. He is neither rejoicing that now, with Trump in the White House, He is finally able to bring His will to pass; nor is He grieving that His plan has been thwarted by Secretary Clinton’s defeat.

God will use Donald Trump, just like He would have used Hillary Clinton if she had won, to bring about His eternal, immutable purposes. It doesn’t matter whether or not Trump cooperates, at least in terms of the success of God’s plan; God’s purposes will not be thwarted. The President of the United States is a powerful individual, but his or her power is nothing compared to the power of our Almighty, Omnipotent God.

That being the case, how does He want us to respond?

Again, I cannot claim to know all the specifics of God’s will for each of us. But I do know that He will never lead anyone to do or believe something that contradicts His will as revealed in Scripture. Therefore, I know this: God ultimately wants us to place our trust in Him, not in any human being. If we’re happy that Trump was elected, fine. But we must remember that God is no more or less able to accomplish His purposes now that Trump has been elected than He would have been if Secretary Clinton had been elected. If we have for a single moment believed that only in a Trump administration can God perform His will, we have put our trust in a human being rather than God Himself. We have elevated another human being to the place that only God deserves.

I also know this: God wants us to love each other. This means we can’t shame someone for voting for Trump or mock people who are deeply upset that he won. It’s not okay to be disrespectful just because someone holds views that are different from our own or displays a different reaction. In fact, during the Last Supper, Jesus instituted one last, new command: Love one another. Spraying hate messages on people’s property, or destroying that property in protest, is not what He had in mind.

Neither is acting in hate toward another person for any reason, much less because that person is a (insert a minority group designation here). How God’s heart must break when we wound someone else by our hateful words and actions! He never once showed hate to anyone; He always showed love, even to those who kept trying to kill Him. Hear me: if we act hatefully toward anyone, for any reason, God calls that sin.

Finally, God wants us to realize that there is no authority except that which He has established, and to respect that authority. Does that mean we have to respect every policy the authority might institute? Of course not. Does it mean we have to like the authority? No. But just as it’s not okay to disparage individuals made in the image of God, it is likewise wrong to disrespect authorities instituted by God. It’s more than fine to stand against any policy that dishonors God; in fact, we must. It is not okay to show disrespect or contempt for what God has done.

Maybe we’re still trying to figure out what we think or plan to do now that we know who the next President will be. But far more important than deciding what we think is aligning ourselves with what God thinks. And far more imperative than doing what we want to do, is doing what God wants done.

As we move forward post-Election 2016, may God’s glory and satisfaction be our only goal. May we pursue that goal only in ways that honor Him. May we focus not on satisfying our own desires but on bringing Him glory.

And may God bless America.

Amen.

Isaiah 14:27—For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back? (NIV)

Romans 13:1—Let every person submit himself to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except what God has established, and every authority that exists has been appointed by God. (MGT)

John 13:34—“A new commandment I give you: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also must love one another.” (MGT)

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