By John Hampton
1. Don't believe every poll you read. If you're in the polling business, you might want to brush up those resumes.
2. Don't overlook the silent, hidden voters. How could that many people be that overlooked? It's not like this election didn't have a miserable, monotonous lifespan that consumed the national conversation for months. It's amazing what people don't want to see and hear.
3. The message is greater than the messenger. There's no debating that President-elect Trump is a deeply-flawed messenger. He is not what I would call an example of a life that is flourishing in Jesus. He is someone who gave voice to some views that are deeply held by many who feel disenfranchised from those who govern us. The broken condition of American politics on both sides of the aisle was highlighted on Tuesday night, and it will be some time before we even understand what the new normal is. But politics as usual has been served notice. I think that message came across.
4. There are a lot of disillusioned people right now. Frankly, I was prepared to minister to those on one side of the political spectrum to deal with their losses and misplaced hopes. And that is still real, but that sense of concern and support needs to be extended to the other side, and I don't think anybody in my circles saw that coming. Whenever people vote, there are winners and there are losers. What some believe to be a "miracle," others see as a nightmare. All of us live in the same country and every one of us matters to God.
5. There is a lot of opportunity to point people to a higher hope and more unshakeable kingdom. Whether you are elated or deflated over the outcome of the election, the need to speak of something that transcends the kingdoms of men is still real and needed. Let's not go back to our idolatry of confusing the political machinery of the United States of America--or any other country for that matter--with the powerful ministry of the Kingdom of God. Nothing happened on Tuesday that changed our hope, our mission, or our message and that would be true no matter who got elected.
6. Something different and unexpected is happening in our nation. Whether that turns out to be a good thing or a bad thing is too soon to tell in my opinion. Words are easy to say. Leading with disciplined action is much tougher to pull off. I'm hoping and praying that the best things that will help the most people will be quickly elevated on our new President's agenda and that the pettiness and wasted energy of politics as usual will be abandoned.
7. Even when people are wrong, it's hard to admit it. I have a confession: I couldn't help but flip back and forth between channels on my television where the media elite, who had been so confident and cocky, thought they knew what was going to happen on election night. I watched as they were utterly befuddled by the results they were seeing coming in before their eyes. And even when they plainly saw what was happening, they couldn't bring themselves to say it for the longest time.
8. All the church has ever needed or asked for is the opportunity to share the gospel, hopefully in peace, but always with urgency. I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people-- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases Godour Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4) We pray for our leaders so that we can live in peace and share the gospel, because God wants all people to be saved. Government has a role in the spread of the gospel: don't interfere with it. Let people of sincere faith and practice live in peace. I'm hopeful under a new administration that we have a better shot at seeing that happen.
9. The choices of advisors/leaders will reveal a lot. The Scripture consistently tells us to prize the role of wise counselors. Over the next few weeks, we will see the kind of leadership team President-elect Trump assembles around him. Will they all be from outside of Washington or will there be any with inside-the-beltway experience? Will they be all white or will he value diverse voices? Will they be capable of speaking truth to him regardless or will they fear he will say, "You're fired!"? Will there be any of strong faith and conviction or will they be those who give merely lip-service to true discipleship?
10. You never know what God is going to do next. I'm thinking of the words of Daniel 2:20-22:
"Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
wisdom and power are his.
He changes times and seasons;
he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him.
One thing is for sure: things are stirred up in our country like we've not seen in our lifetimes. Hold onto the hope in the One who is uncontainable, untamable, incomparable and unchangeable. The song "God is on the move, on the move, hallelujah! God is on the move today" is very real. See where He is moving and working and join Him there.
John Hampton is the Lead Pastor at Journey Christian Church in Apopka
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