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Inauguration Day Preparation: Reasons to Pray and Praise

( [email protected] ) Jan 19, 2017 04:55 PM EST
As people are preparing for Inauguration Day---some with rejoicing, others in seeming sackcloth and ashes---one fact becomes clear: amid all of the performance rejections and media criticism abounding, this is a controversial and exciting time, to be sure. And perhaps that's an understatement. To the Christian, however, there is never a time devoid of comfort. For those whose eyes are fixed pessimistically, I hope to avert your focus just a bit more.
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Donald Trump wasn't my first pick. Or second, or even third. As a Christian with inherently conservative values, Trump seemed to me to be, on a number of occasions, the most arrogant, immoral, and overall immature candidate on the Republican side. When voting for the general election season came around, I proudly cast my ballot for my favored candidate----a candidate of upstanding character and ethical strength. Since Trump won the nomination, however, my perspective began to change, both as a matter of truth as well as, I would see more later, a matter of trust. A matter of compromise? I honestly don't think so---and I'll expound on that. As people are preparing for Inauguration Day---some with rejoicing, others in seeming sackcloth and ashes---one fact becomes clear: amid all of the performance rejections and media criticism abounding, this is a controversial and exciting time, to be sure. And perhaps that's an understatement. To the Christian, however, there is never a time devoid of comfort. For those whose eyes are fixed pessimistically, I hope to avert your focus just a bit more.

Scripture makes it clear that one ecclesiastical duty involves restraint. While Trump is a far cry from Melchizedek, he also isn't quite a Nebuchadnezzar. In fact, with all of his support for Israel and Zionist ambitions, many notables within the Christian realm of influence have likened President-elect Trump to the Old Testament King Cyrus. While Cyrus himself did not worship the God of Israel, he protected the Jewish people and allowed them of worship---a rare sanction in the days of paganistic, absolute monarchy. For this alone, God honored Cyrus, to the point of deeming him His Shepherd (Isaiah 44). Isaiah 45 recounts God's perspective in the election of Cyrus: "I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge Me." With no credit to his own piety or devotion, Cyrus nonetheless accomplished God's pleasure, furthering a divine plan to protect His people and secure their right to worship freely.

With the blessing of restraint, sin is confined and nations are blessed. Donald Trump's choice in Vice President-Elect Mike Pence and his cabinet election prove a consoling discernment towards returning an atmosphere of more lenient Christian expression and representation. In fact, as I write this, Christian leaders such as Peggy Nienaber, vice president of Operations for Faith and Action, and Nathan Kistler, director of Hope to the Hill, rouse fellow Christians to prayer and anoint the doorway that President-elect Trump will enter through to commence his inauguration ceremony. Nienaber exhorts with a right spirit of biblical unity and truth: "The gospel is neither Republican or Democrat. When President-elect Trump and Vice -President Pence place their hand on the Bible for the oath of office, Christians are to be praying for them. The demands of the nation's highest office call us to put aside our differences and join in prayer." Franklin Graham has been equally involved, boldly directing to Trump's potential ability in reforming the Supreme Court: "I think maybe God has allowed Donald Trump to win this election to protect this nation for the next few years by giving maybe an opportunity to have some good judges."

While I don't expect any Christian necessarily to dance during the Inauguration, I would encourage my brothers and sisters in the Lord to reflect on what God has wrought, as well as consider the former direction He rescued us from. Previously on the road to increased persecution in the forms of eliminated public religious expressions, familial freedoms, parental rights, and life itself, may we sincerely praise Jesus for graciously biding us time, and remember the merit of what William Wilberforce deemed to be gradual abolition. While I am as earnest to completely defund and nullify the most monstrous of evils supposedly-legalized in this country, I remember Israel and all of its altars---not as an excuse to keep them, but an encouragement to tear down what can be torn down.

Remember that the media hates the slightest inkling of Christian representation. This representation is hated even at its most diluted. Soon after the general elections, I began to realize more than ever that mainstream media disfigures facts, and that no single story should be taken at whim without first being reviewed by several sources and direct quotations. As God's people, we are responsible for what we do as well as what we know; our spirits perish for a lack of knowledge and vision---and true, reviving reform is impossible without either.

As a matter of trust, Paul reminds us that love always trusts. When a person seeks to improve himself, we are to trust and hope that he or she will. After all, we each do that for ourselves every single day. Beyond that, it is a matter of trusting God. He puts kings on their thrones and presidents in the White House. We can always trust His sovereignty in changing the course of men.

Tags : US politics