Now what? The election is over, the result surprising, and our nation is as divided as ever with disagreements reaching even into our own families. Protests fill the streets from coast to coast. Comments on social media are vicious. People are hurting, afraid, and fearful about the future. So what should we do about it?
First, pray for President Obama as he continues in office until January 19, 2017 and for President-Elect Trump as he prepares to take office January 20, 2017. Paul exhorted us “that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” The job they have and will have is more difficult than we could ever imagine.
Second, the Bible tells us that as believers we shouldn’t chant “Not my president” even if we’re disappointed with the results. In an election the likes of which no one has ever seen, with a result that no one predicted, I believe God’s hand was at work. Romans 13:1 says: “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” Like it or not, God’s Word says we should respect both the office and the person He has allowed to fill it.
Third, be quick to listen and slow to speak. Right now we all want to state our positions and defend why we are right. I know several people who are adamant that this result is the end of the world that they won’t hear anything that disagrees with their view. Many others feel the same way. James told us “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” (1:19-20) We should all carefully consider what we say before we actually say it and be sure that our words are kind, helpful, encouraging, truthful. Ask God to help us be instruments of peace so we can preserve relationships.
Finally, let me encourage you to trust in God. No one knows what the future will hold. I have a friend who for the past three years planned a trip to New Zealand. He left last Friday, arrived on Saturday just as a massive earthquake and tsunami hit that country. He didn’t plan that, and his plans are on hold, but God knew. He always knows. In Psalm 20:7 David made it clear. “Some [trust] in chariots, and some in horses, but we trust the name of the LORD our God.”
Pray, accept God’s choice, listen, and trust. God is in control.