When "the unforeseeable" becomes reality...

This is the afternoon of "the day after," not the day after a nuclear attack, the Rapture of the Church of the explosion of Mt. Vesuvius, but the day after what is being called an "unforeseeable election result," the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. "Unforeseeable" is probably a euphemism for "I didn't see it coming." Most in one political party would probably express that, and even some in the party that prevailed. Handwringing on one side is matched by triumphalism on the other. How should a Christian react to the new reality?

Along with much practical effort, many Christians have spend much time in prayer for this nation and probably for the election of the candidate of their choice. If their candidate has prevailed, there is a natural sense of having accomplished something, a victory of sorts, with the work of God having been done. If one has prayed, and the opposing candidate has been elected, the feelings are difficult to define beyond disappointment and perhaps anger.

We must first keep right perspective. There was simply a process followed by a nation, a procedure that has been in place for nearly 250 years established by a Constitution - and it worked again. Another person has been elected to become president. Besides this, his party has prevailed in Congress. Nothing else, however, has been accomplished. The poor are still poor, the homeless are still that. If one had cancer before the election, he probably still is afflicted. Hundreds of millions of individuals still have never heard a real gospel message. The plight of the orphan, refugee, girl held captive as a sex slave, mother who lost her son, man who cannot earn enough to keep his family alive: these have not changed. I wold suggest a pattern by which to live in the aftermath of this new reality:

-Refuse careless discussions of politics that might cause another discomfort or even offense; one is not more righteous based on whom one has supported in an election.

"Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification, without which no one will see the Lord," Hebrews 12:14

-In place of election issues that have disturbed so many, cleanse your mind with advice from the apostle in Philippians 4, "Rejoice in the Lord... Let your gentle spirit be known to all men... be anxious for nothing..., whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute..., think on these things." Lesser things are not worthy.

-Understand that political victory is opportunity and responsibility to address issues of poverty, unfairness, oppression and the other realities that demean "those for whom Christ died," as well as recognizing a nation's greatness while leading it in humility. It is a time to rebuild a nation's strength while realizing that its real strength must be in the Lord.

-With the same faith with which we called on God to guide an election, whoever the winner, continue to call on Him to give the new leadership a moral compass that registers "true north" according to God's Word, and the strength of character to lead accordingly.

Pastor J. Lowell Harrup, 11-9-16