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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Why the US Election Result Does Not Matter

Today the world watches as the USA go to the polls to elect their new President. Or rather, due to the convoluted system - 270 electoral votes (all very confusing for Australians). All along this has been a long, bitter and ugly campaign. Many people have commented that either way the American people lose. Other people have talked about how one candidate is a 'lesser evil' or 'better choice than the other.' So many other sources have held great fears about the election results. Others yet again feel this is an election of so many lies, fears and grievances that ultimately the result becomes problematic either way.

I wanted to write a blog post however, from my perspective about why the end result - Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump - does not matter. This is not a statement to say that people should not take responsibility for their vote. More that it is a statement to say in the overall scheme of things we as individuals need to remember who is really in control of everything.

Jeanille and I have recently purchased a house (or begun the process). It is a continuation of God's blessing and favour as we followed His plans and guidance for our new lives as a married couple. I know that some people looked at the situation - Jeanille leaving behind a comfortable city job to move to the uncertain country, myself moving away from family - as unusual and a negative. However, throughout our moves we trusted in God above all else. It is for this reason that training and career broadening opportunities have opened up for us here along with a lifestyle that many people struggle to achieve in the city (first home ownership in Melbourne is almost impossible for a young couple).

Romans 8:28 states "And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose." I often am reminded that the second part of the verse is particularly important: 'called according to His purpose.'  Proverbs 19:21 says that "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand."

When you follow God's plans - his purposes that stand forever and despite any obstacle - you might find that some of your goals end up failing. However, often your own dreams and desires will be met in far greater ways. A dream of mine as a teacher has been to be able to become a writer, I may not yet be fulfilling that dream but the process of chasing it has taken some interesting turns as I trust in God. Jeanille's dream has lain in medicine education, and has now shifted to business aspirations, yet at the same time she is still studying and educating herself in this new season of our lives. God is fulfilling the depths of our dreams, while also leading us to pursue him deeper and in different new ways!

So if you are a Christian, the US election result should not matter. Obviously it may matter for a short time, and it may matter for a longer time. But the US election result does not affect who you are as a person and what you believe. The US election result does not change how the universe, which is so much more infinitely bigger than our own problems, runs. The US election result in the entire history of the world is a small blip, as is everything else connected to it.

If we say that we trust God then it should not matter who is in power - God's authority will always be greater. Look at China where Christianity has been under extreme attack for decades because of Communist belief. Christians who live in countries where they are persecuted still continue to worship God and follow Him. Ultimately, regardless of circumstances, for the believer He must be in control of everything.

The election result should not even matter if you don't believe in God. For the non-Christian the US election result should still be a small blip on the radar of history. Our entire existence in this universe is questionable, is tenable, and we live everyday in the hope that some great catastrophe will not suddenly end it all. That is, without the thought of something greater in true control of the situation.

Ultimately it comes down to a matter of faith. America's has long said 'in God we trust,' now with the possibility of a 'disaster' depending upon who becomes President who does America (and the world in my case) really trust in?

I have long been concerned about the path that society is taking - its morals and laws differing from God's plan slowly, gently phasing Him out of the picture where it can. Yet even that doesn't matter. What should it matter if human beings pass a law to outlaw Christianity? God is still God and He is still in control of my future.

Now to clarify, I am not referencing laziness or apathy. Indeed, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” Instead I am advocating for the Christian (and everyone else) to follow their faith, to vote in good conscience, and to abstain in the same way, as they feel lead to. I am advocating that even when results in life do not go our way that we should not proclaim doom-and-gloom, hellfire-and-brimstone. Instead we should look to the one who created the Heaven and the Earth and say - my faith is not dependent on who runs the United States of America. My faith is not dependent upon the fears of the world. My faith is dependent upon my God.

1I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
2My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
3He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.