Nov
23

Being Thankful For Our New President

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I realize the title of this post alone will stir up emotions. On the “Never Trump” side, it can stir up anger. On the other side, it can easily stir up pride. My intentions are neither. This is not a political post, it’s a plea to those who call themselves Christians on how to “thank God no matter what happens” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). If you are not a Christian, I encourage you to read this and hold us accountable to being thankful for our new president.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” I’m not calling President-elect Trump a lemon. I’m simply stating that it is a matter of perspective. When our perspective is God’s perspective, we will submit to our elected officials, honor our elected officials, and pray for our elected officials. With that being said, I believe there are at least 6 reasons on why we should be thankful for our newly elected president.

  1. God Appoints Kings

Mr. Trump was elected through the constitutional republic that is the system our nation uses to appoint our leaders. Within this constitutional republic, the citizens have the privilege of voting and the electoral college represents the people but God is the one who appoints the leaders. As a result, “every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God” (Romans 13:1). When the Apostle Paul wrote this, the leaders he was urging the Christians to be in subjection to were those who were clearly anti-God. They were so anti-God that they legally persecuted Christians.

  1. It is Advantageous

Through Him (Jesus) then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you” (Hebrews 13:15-17)

This is a great principle not just for honoring our next president but also for us in our relationship to our bosses, police officers, and for our kids to honor us. When we obey our leaders and submit to them, it makes for an easier job for them and, as a result, it will be to our advantage. The context of this submission is an attitude of sacrifice and praise to God.

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

It is difficult, if not impossible to complain about someone and pray for them in the same breath. Instead of complaining about our kings and those in authority, we are urged here to be thankful for all men including kings and all who are in authority. Why? Once again, it is beneficial to us. Honoring authority and being thankful for them (the good ones and the bad ones) leads to a tranquil and quiet life for those who will do it.

  1. It’s the Best Example

Our kids are going to learn thankfulness and how to honor authorities through our attitudes of thankfulness.

“I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children. Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me.” (1 Corinthians 4:14)

The tone of this passage is a father who loves his children deeply and doesn’t want to embarrass them but wants to warn them of the dangers they face.

Can you look your kids in the eye and say:

  • Pray the way I pray
  • Give the way I give
  • Live the holy life I live
  • Talk the way I talk
  • Drive the way I drive
  • Eat the way I eat
  • Watch the tv shows I watch
  • Handle your money like I handle my money
  • Balance work and rest like I balance work and rest
  • Handle your anger like I handle my anger
  • Honor authorities like I honor authorities
  • Be thankful as I am thankful

We do not need to drill our kids with rules and discipline. We need to be what we want them to become. Your children are going to become a lot like you. So, if you want your children to be Christ-like, what does that mean for you? You don’t have to be perfect! Even if you wanted to be perfect you cannot pass on perfection to your kids. After all, they’re fallen human beings just like you and me.

“Everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” (Luke 6:40)

Character is always more caught than taught. Let your children “catch” you being thankful for our newly elected leaders.

  1. It Gives Proper Perspective

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son…” (Romans 8:28-29a)

If this is true (and it is), then there is nothing that happens outside of God’s sovereign hand. Whether good or bad, for those of us who say we love God, we can be certain that every situation in our lives, is used by God for His glory and our good (to make us more like Jesus). Taking this along with what we’ve already read that God appoints authorities above us, means we have lost our perspective in somehow thinking that God is not also a part of every election.

  1. It Silences Ignorant People

“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king” (1 Peter 2:13-17)

There is no shortage of ignorant people out there who would love nothing more than to watch Christians dishonor their leaders whether through our words we speak, what we say on social media, or by doing what is wrong.

When Peter is writing this, Nero is in charge. Nero was the one who set Rome on fire and blamed the Christians. This incited hate among the masses and the people rejoiced to see Nero take Christians, dip them in oil, light them on fire, and use the light from the fire to illuminate his garden at night. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Peter does not encourage them to protest, complain, or rebel. He tells them to submit and honor their authorities. If they proved to be rebellious it would validate the claims that Nero made against them in setting Rome on fire.

  1. Proves Blamelessness and Innocence

Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:14-15)

As a follow-up to point 5, our doing the right thing includes not grumbling or disputing. Christians must not be complainers. When writing the Book of Philippians Paul is under house arrest in Rome and he is writing about joy and contentment. He’s writing about his difficult circumstances being for the greater good. It would have been so easy for Paul to complain and I am sure his readers would have understood why he was complaining. But Paul not only knew complaining would be unprofitable, it would be inconsistent with his belief in the sovereignty of God.

When we complain, we are telling God that He is not in control and that we do not trust Him. But, when we do all things without complaining, it proves that we are His children and we trust our Father.

So, are you thankful for our newly elected President? Ultimately, it does not matter whether you voted for him, voted against him, or chose not to vote. God has placed this man in authority over our nation and, as Christians, we can be thankful. In our thankfulness, we must pray for him, submit to him, and honor him.

Mike DeGuzman is a certified biblical counselor, YMCA board member, and pastor of Community Bible Church of Ocala.

Mike can be reached at (352) 680-0056 or by email: mike@cbcocala.org. For more information go to www.cbcofocala.org.