Wednesday, November 9, 2016

President Paul or President Pilate? #GodTrumpsAll

Many Americans awakened this morning with a sinking feeling in the pit of their stomachs because the unfathomable happened.

Donald Trump was elected President. 

While there are many people celebrating his unprecedented victory over Hillary Clinton, many Americans are not. On one hand, you have a flood of liberal tears from people who think that he is the end of equality and the beginning of oppression. On the other, you have conservatives wishing he would immediately resign so Mike Pence can take the reins. Sprinkled throughout both the right and the left are Christians who have been praying earnestly that we didn't just watch the season finale of America since the electoral votes were counted in Trump's favor last night.

This blog is for the last group.

I understand your anguish and your fear about the future, but there is hope no matter what happens during President Trump's four year tenure in the Oval Office. Let me give you two of many potential scenarios for what could happen and why God comes out on top either way.

President Paul#DamascusDonald2016

A lot can be said about the man who watched and approved of Stephen's stoning then ravaged the church (Acts 8:1-3), but few people reflect on Paul without remembering his amazing conversion. On the road to Damascus, he had an encounter with Jesus that left him momentarily blinded, but when the scales fell, his eyes were ultimately opened to the sweet truth of the gospel. One interaction with Christ changed his life and our world forever (Acts 9:1-31).

This could be President Trump.

Imagine the testimony that could come from a man like Donald Trump becoming an abiding believer in Christ. As a new creation, the old would pass away, and behold the new that could come (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)!

If a man who has been called racist, bigoted, misogynistic, a pot-stirrer, financially unsound, inexperience, and hateful in his speech was filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23), the world would be dumbstruck in awe and forced to face the power of God.

The Result: God wins.

President Pilate

Pontius Pilate is a man remembered for little more than presiding over Jerusalem during Jesus' ministry, death, and resurrection as well as the early church's initial persecution. His chief concern seemed to be maintaining the status quo and order to please Caesar, which benefited him in the end, so pleasing God was nowhere on his to do list (John 18:28-19:16).

This too could be President Trump.

While he made campaign promises that sounded good to a lot of people and stood for platforms that many Christians support, which might have used as a basis for the votes they cast in his favor, it could all be smoke and mirrors. His chief concern could be getting in power, staying in power, and pleasing himself with God not even in the kitchen let alone on the back burner despite all of the high profile pastors who have promoted him over the last year.

But God is still good.

The early church, embroiled in persecution as it was, thrived. When the peril they faced under Pilate's rule and the religious authorities’ influence led early Christians to scatter (Acts 8:1-3), God used that dispersion to spread the gospel from Jerusalem to Samaria and the ends of the earth even though that was never Pilate's goal. While I'm not advocating that Christians flee to Canada, which doesn't even have an immigration website that can handle that kind of traffic, whatever hardships and difficulties come from a Trump presidency can be used for God's glory.
Your peace that surpasses understanding as you pray to lean on God during a tumultuous four years could soften a coworker's heart toward Christ (Philippians 4:4-7). Your joy that springs from trust in God can turn the heads of people whose joy was lost on November 8. The suffering you may encounter can produce endurance, character, and hope that points to Christ (Romans 5:1-5.

The Result: God still wins.

President Who?

As I sit here typing this during a network outage at work on November 9, 2016, I don't know what the future holds for our country. Trump could be a Pilate, Paul, Jeroboam, David, Ahab, Hezekiah, Judas, Peter, or any number of biblical figures in terms of how his character reveals itself or changes during his time in office. However, there is one thing that I do know.

God is still good.

We have a Father in Heaven, Christ as our Savior, and the Holy Spirit guiding us on earth. In the span of eternity, a Trump presidency is a mere breath. One day, he will return to dust and be forgotten. Whether God uses him as a vessel for honorable use or dishonorable use, God still sits on the throne and has a purpose for him (Romans 9:14-24). There is not one inch of this world or moment in eternity that God is not sovereign over, and his victory over sin was accomplished over two thousand years ago.

So close your eyes, pray, take a deep breath, and exhale. Look to Christ, the founder and perfecter of our faith so you can run the next four or possibly eight years with endurance (Hebrews 12:1-2). Be still and know that he is God. He will be exalted among all the nations and all the earth no matter who sits in the Oval Office (Psalm 46:10-11).