After the Election: 5 Biblical Reminders
The 2016 election is over, and Americans have chosen a new leadership team-President-elect Donald J. Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
Now that the votes are in, the people of the United States face the difficult task of coming together after a hard-fought and divisive campaign season. Whether your preferred candidate won or lost, you may be wondering, what now?
"This election has been long, it's been tough, and it's been divisive. It's time to put that behind us," Franklin Graham said on Facebook Wednesday morning. "Now is the time to come together in unity and work together. Our nation has so many problems that need fixing. Even more important are the spiritual needs of our country. Whether we are rich or poor, without Jesus Christ we are the most desperately in need, the poorest of the poor. We cannot ignore His hand and His supreme authority."
All year long, Franklin Graham traveled from coast to coast, urging Christians to do three things: pray, vote and engage in the political process. The polls may be closed, but the need to pray and engage is just as important today as it was yesterday.
"One thing is for sure, we need to pray for our new president, vice president, and our other leaders every day-whether we agree with them or not," Franklin Graham said. "They need God's help and direction. It is my prayer that we will truly be 'one nation under God.'"
As the nation prepares for new leadership, read these five reminders for some Biblical perspective.
Remember the truth
How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders!
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation. (Daniel 4:3, ESV)
Nations and kingdoms on earth appear and disappear throughout history. But God's Kingdom is everlasting. The news headlines may have you feeling uneasy, but remember that God was in control before the votes were in, and He's still in control now. Before the election, Franklin Graham posted this on his Facebook page:
The Bible tells us that ultimately "God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne" (Psalm 47:8). I am praying for God to give us a president, a vice president, and other leaders in this country who will acknowledge Him and look to Him for direction. But no matter who is in the Oval Office, God is still on His throne. My hope is in Him. He is what our country needs. "And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you" (Psalm 39:7).
Start at home
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!(Psalm 139:23-24, ESV)
It's easy to focus on the flaws and the sins of the nation's politicians. But God's Word instructs us to take a hard look at our own sins.
Jesus said, "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" (Matthew 7:3, ESV).
Throughout the Decision America Tour, Franklin Graham led hundreds of thousands of Americans in prayers of repentance for their individual sins, the sins of their families and the sins of the nation. "Because the only hope for America is if God's people repent of their sins and call upon His Name," Franklin said. Take a few minutes today to search your own heart and to ask God for forgiveness.
Pray for the new president and all elected leaders
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4, ESV)
Have you prayed for the newly elected president and vice president yet today? How about your governor? Your local school board members?
Throughout the Decision America Tour, Franklin Graham led prayers for the leaders of the nation as well as leaders in each of the 50 states. Regardless of who won the elections, pray for the salvation of those who are in leadership. And pray for unity within the Church.
Start looking for godly people to run for office
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! (Psalm 33:12, ESV)
"We need men and women in office who love God, who fear God," Franklin Graham said on the last stop of the Decision America Tour, in Raleigh, North Carolina. His message wasn't new-Billy Graham said the same thing 40 years ago.
"Here's something my father said in 1976," Franklin shared. "He said, 'Get involved in the political process. I'd like to challenge every deeply-committed American who's qualified to think about running for political office.' He said, 'I don't believe that we as Christians should withdraw. We need men and women of integrity, of Christian commitment, who will run for political office.'"
If you don't like the current political landscape, ask God to show you what you can do about it.
"Go back into your community and start looking, start praying, but look for people in your community that would be good on the school board, who would be good as a mayor," Franklin Graham said. "But start looking for Christians-real, true, born again men and women of God, and begin to get behind them and organize for them.
"Because if you can take your community back, we'll eventually get the capitols back and eventually get Washington back."
Take a stand
And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:31, ESV)
When the early Christians were persecuted and thrown in jail, they prayed for God to allow them to continue to preach with boldness. Their prayers were answered, and many people came to faith in Jesus Christ.
As Franklin Graham has declared time and again, now is not the time for Christians to be silent.
"We as Christians, we have been told we've got to be quiet," Franklin said at the North Carolina State Capitol in October. "We don't want to upset people. We don't want to turn anybody off. We want to be loving. We want to be caring. And of course we want to be loving, and of course we want to be caring. But they accuse us of being intolerant if we speak up.
"Well, we don't want to be accused of being intolerant. So, we want to be nice. Christlike. But I remember Christ one time taking a whip and chasing those money changers out of the temple (John 2:15). I remember Jesus one time telling those Pharisees, 'You're a bunch a whitewashed tombs' (Matthew 23:27).
"There are times that we need to stand up and speak out."
(c) Billy Graham Evangelistic Association www.billygraham.org