I'll admit it: I fell asleep on my couch last night sometime between 1:00 and 1:30 AM, watching election results come in. Like most people, I watched the coverage slack-jawed, astounded that Donald Trump was winning the election. And, like most people, I woke up the day after the election with feelings of surprise, followed quickly by uncertainty. My feelings were similar to that of Pastor Phil Johnson, whom I follow on social media: "I couldn't be happier that Mrs. Clinton won't be our next president. I'm still profoundly sad that an unprincipled lout will be." Yeah, that about sums up how I feel. If you feel that same uncertainty on the day after the election, let's think for a minute about what this day brings with it.
The day after the election brings a renewed opportunity to trust in the Lord
In one of his letters, John Newton said, "The whole system of my politics is summed up in this one verse, "The lord reigns! Let the nations tremble! (Psalm 99.1) The times look awfully dark indeed; and as the clouds grow thicker - the stupidity of the nation seems proportionally to increase. If the Lord had not a remnant here, I would have very formidable apprehensions. But he loves his children; some are sighing and mourning before him, and I am sure he hears their sighs, and sees their tears. I trust there is mercy in store for them at the bottom."
Every time we face uncertainty it is a new opportunity for us to renew our trust in the sovereignty of God. To be sure, although the election results were a surprise to most, they were not a surprise to God. He knew of them and even ordained them before the foundation of the world. He will oversee the affairs of the nations, including ours, and he will see that his purposes on this earth our carried out, regardless of - and even in spite of - those who deem themselves as powerful.
The day after the election brings a renewed opportunity to pray
1 Timothy 2.1-2 says: "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and ann who are in high positions..." The Apostle Paul clearly thought that it was important to pray for our leaders, and so we should. Additionally, in these verses, Paul gives us three reasons why we should use this opportunity to commit ourselves to prayer:
1. So we can lead peaceful, quiet, godly, dignified lives (1 Timothy 2.2b). The government has a significant influence on how we live our day to day lives - more so now than ever before. It behooves us, then, to keep our leaders in prayer so we can simply lead Christian lives.
2. Because it is pleasing to God. God commands us to pray for our leaders, and so, when we obey that command, he is pleased. We should pray for our leaders because "it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior" (1 Timothy 2.3)
3. So we can be about the business of gospel work (1 Timothy 2.4). If we will pray for our leaders, and if they will in turn allow us to lead peaceful, godly, dignified lives, we can be more efficiently and effectively about the business of declaring the gospel to the world. The more we keep our leaders in prayer, the more we can be focused on the work of our King. God desires for people to be saved, and so he tells us to pray for our leaders so we can carry out his work.
So if you're still getting over the shock of the election, pick your jaw up off the floor and get busy praying.
The day after the election brings a renewed opportunity for gospel ministry.
The United States is still the most free place in the world in regards to religious expression. It behooves the church - God's vehicle for spreading the message of his gospel - to take the fullest advantage of such freedom as possible. If you're a Christian and you're not involved in a local church, you need to be. And a great way to not be overcome by the worries of the world is to busy yourself in kingdom work. Find a ministry through the local church and devote yourself to it. And if you really want to change the world, share the gospel with people. Change won't happen through political means; it won't happen through governments or leaders; change only comes through the power of the gospel. So let the election jar you out of your gospel-slumber and awaken you to the power of God in his gospel, and may it invigorate you to declare the good news. Let the day after the election be a reminder to you that we still live in a fallen world that is effected by sin, and let that be a motivation to you to boldly declare the gospel.
The day after this election can be one that is filled with all sorts of ideas and emotions. So take a few moments to take it all in and feel the emotions. And then remind yourself of the truths that the Lord reigns, and that he has called you to pray and to join him in his mission for this world.