November 09, 2016

My Post-Election Considerations

Written By Cary Schmidt

The morning after a long night of election results, I confess, my heart is neither more or less joyful than it was the day before. The source of my hope remains in Jesus and the gospel. Some aspects of the election encourage me, but others equally alarm me. Of all the elections of my life time, this has been the most polarizing—to my own heart and emotions, not to mention the polarization of Christianity and Americans in general.

For that reason, I’m not terribly emotionally invested into the American political process. I don’t believe God was wringing His hands waiting for the electoral vote tally last night. God doesn’t need the American political process to help Him fulfill His purpose. And contrary to popular opinions in any election, no candidate is a messiah.

That said, I try to be an optimist. This morning, I’m reflecting on three things—what I’m amazed by, what I’m thankful for, and what I pray for regarding the outcome of last night’s election:

Things That Amaze Me…

I’m amazed that we actually get to choose our government—the vast majority of human beings that ever lived on planet earth simply had to accept whatever government was thrust upon them. Millennia of people would marvel at the idea that we actually get to vote—what a privilege! America is a historical anomaly, and I’m grateful for it!

I’m amazed at the negativity of some Christians—when I look at many secular political leaders through a moral/character lens, admittedly I’m very disappointed (that includes every president in my lifetime, and most preceding my birth.) As a nation, we really have not had many leaders with strong morals in personal behavior or sexual ethics—especially if you study their “pre-presidential days.”

Yet, when I look through the lens of providence, policy, leadership, and God’s eternal purpose; then I accept those who God raises up, and do exactly what He said—pray for them and esteem them. I acknowledge that most political leaders in the Bible also had moral and behavioral failures, and yet they were still used of God to fulfill His purposes.

I’m amazed at the providential turn of events—No candidate is the source of my hope—Jesus is. And I don’t pretend to understand what the election results actually mean on a grand scale or what God is actually doing through all this; but there’s no denying that this was an outcome that any political professional considered nearly impossible. In that I take hope that God ordered these events for His purposes—whatever they may be. It reminds me that all the scheming of man cannot undo the purposes of God. It makes me really glad I know Jesus and belong to Him!

I’m amazed at our propensity to presume outcomes—As Christians, we tend, almost subconsciously, to impose our will or expectations transparently over God’s. We tend to jump to conclusions in regards to what He is really doing. Yet, God will not be placed in a box, and He usually blows up human expectations in ways that leave us speechless.

My point is this: in this election, as with all others, God could just as well be hastening the decline of America as much as preserving it. He could just as well be judging as blessing. We just don’t know yet. Either way, He is absolutely unfolding His will. We can hope and pray for “what we think would be best” but only time will tell as we watch God work. It’s important that we keep our eyes on Jesus, and keep our expectations grounded in His grace.

Things I’m Thankful For…

Thankful that I can accept any election outcome as “God’s will”—The powers that be are ordained of God, and that gives us all a reason to rest.

Thankful to live in a nation where the voice of the people is still in play—I believe we witnessed history last night as an outsider overcame astounding odds and an enormous political/financial/media machine to become president-elect—against all odds and expectations. The whole process actually restores a bit of my faith that the American political system is still a reality.

Thankful to have a presidential ticket that includes a committed Christian—This is really big to me. Mike Pence is a committed Christian with a clear and respected voice, and I’m thrilled that God has raised him up to have a voice in the new administration. Some see him as a compromiser. I believe that view is prematurely judgmental. I’m thankful he accepted the opportunity to step into the ticket with a biblical voice, and I hope he will use it wisely with God’s power.

Thankful to have a presidential ticket that isn’t afraid to refer to God and prayer—I’ve missed having national leaders who openly and humbly confess dependence upon God and who unashamedly call our nation to prayer and faith. In recent years we’ve seen open disdain for Christ and open tolerance for everything against Christ. Perhaps it will be refreshing to hear references to God and faith once again from our nation’s highest leaders.

Thankful to have a presidential ticket that seems to value the constitution—it remains to be seen what kind of president Mr. Trump will actually be, but every indication points to the fact that his coalition will respect the constitution and strengthen the institution and processes that actually make us a nation of liberty.

Thankful to see American’s deliver a major statement to mainstream media—Our journalistic institutions have never more clearly revealed how exceedingly liberal, biased, duplicitous, and agenda-driven they are. It is refreshing to me to see Americans deliver a loud statement of rebuke to those institutions. It seems to me the media has lost a lot, or should lose a lot, of credibility this election season.

Thankful that perhaps our religious freedoms will realize greater priority—If President Trump follows through on his promises, we can expect that the religious liberties we cherish will remain intact a bit longer. Time will tell.

Things I Pray For…

I pray that Christians will love through the gospel, as half the country is perplexed—Half the people you meet today will be discouraged or even fearful. You are a voice of hope, and you know the source of hope—so speak up, love well, and take courage and confidence in Christ.

I pray that the gospel will grow through faithful Christians and churches—This morning gives me a great sense of responsibility to steward “this moment” for the gospel like never before. As American Christians we have freedom, opportunity, and resources that no Christians have ever had. To whom much is given, much is required! I pray we will collectively become more passionate for the gospel.

I pray that God will guide our president-elect, and give him wisdom—Just as I have prayed for and reverenced President Obama for eight years, I will begin to pray for our next president. The difference is, this one is actually asking for prayer and admits his need for wisdom. That’s meaningful to me, and I know our prayers will make a difference for our leaders—otherwise God would not have told us to pray.

I pray for the families of our new president and vice-president—I cannot imagine the magnitude of the pressure and scrutiny that descends upon these families as they enter office. I will pray for their safety and strength, and for their health as a family.

I pray that our new president will turn his heart toward God—Past failures do not prevent the possibility that God could use President Trump to be a great president and leader—many biblical examples come to mind. Again, only time will tell, but I begin to pray today that he will soften and humble his heart. I pray that the immense responsibility placed upon his shoulders will reveal to him his desperate need for a personal relationship with Jesus and total daily dependence upon God.

I pray that those whose hope is shattered will find real hope in Christ—God could use something like this to turn Hillary Clinton or others to Jesus Christ and the hope that can only be found in Him. Wouldn’t it be awesome to see people come to Christ through all of this?

I pray that Mike Pence will be a Daniel of profound influence—As God placed Joseph in Egypt, Daniel in Babylon, Esther in Persia, Paul in Rome—so I believe He has placed Mike Pence (and others) in Washington. Pence has a clear testimony of faith, obviously understands the gospel, and very articulately communicates his love for God. To me it will be really cool to watch how Mike Pence stewards that influence and how God uses him at the highest levels of global power. I don’t know if, in my lifetime, we’ve had a more articulate and respectful Christian in such visible and influential proximity to the president.

I pray that we will use the time we have left to preach Christ—Jesus left us here for one purpose—to get the gospel to every one we can. That’s what is eternally important. If we fail to steward this moment for Jesus, then it is ultimately in vain.

The fields are white unto harvest—there are many who will receive Jesus, given the chance to comprehend the true gospel. No doubt, Jesus is building His kingdom, and He wins ultimately and forever. Remember your true citizenship. Remember your true calling. The only way we can leverage our American freedom in a way that is eternally meaningful is to help others come to Jesus Christ.

Be grateful for the “American dream”—but be hopeful in the gospel, and live for eternity!

Thanks for letting me ramble!

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13 

PS—I have no intention of letting the comments on this post to digress, so if you need to refute, do so on your own space in social media. Non-encouraging comments will not be posted.