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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hope for America under a Trump Presidency?

Marches, vandalism of public and private property, and the burnings of this nation’s flag by the nation’s people—what is going on?
One thing for sure, the United States of America is certainly being stirred, like a cauldron that is boiling. Shocking actions are being committed, provoking interesting reactions in the present, which hold terrible ramifications in the future, for all of us. Is there hope for America under a Trump Presidency?

With all the buzz surrounding our new President, Donald Trump, I wonder if are we missing the big picture. I wonder if we are so taken up with the President, his personality, and his policies, that we are missing the grander narrative of history that is unfolding before us. In the seven points below, I express my views of President Trump, spelling out certain factors that some may be missing amid the uproar. Whether you agree or disagree with my views on President Trump, my desire is to help us at least think about the possibility of the Trump Presidency being a hopeful one, and respond accordingly.

1. President Donald Trump is a man. 
Yes, a man and just a man. And by man I am not talking about his gender, but his humanness. He is not a machine, not a super hero, not a demi-god. He is a regular man, a human being, just like you and me. And as such, he is made in the image of God, just like you and I are. As a finite man, he has and will have many flaws and failures. From whichever political persuasion you come, you cannot deny the fact that President Trump is only a man. Let’s start with this truth as the basis for our views about him, because it makes a whole lot of room for us to understand the intervention of the Divine in the affairs of mankind.

2. President Donald Trump is a man who, under God’s sovereign rule, is now at the helm of leading our nation. 

The Bible clearly articulates the secret behind the rise and fall of world super powers and their rulers. We are given this truth not in the pages of a political science text book, but from the book of Daniel in the Bible, where Daniel, the statesman-prophet says,

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings.” Daniel 2:20-21

It is God who removes rulers and raises up other rulers in their stead. True, most of America’s citizens did vote, which resulted in this President being put into office. But all of the dynamics—both visible and invisible, known and unknown—that went into his being admitted to the White House were ordained and orchestrated by God. Again, we are told in the book of Daniel, by the ancient king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon— then the world’s most powerful man—that,

“…The Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever He will, And sets over it the lowest of men.” Daniel 4:17

Nebuchadnezzar was set up by God, deposed by God because of his hubris, and then reinstated by God when he was humbled by God. Why?—So that the purposes of God would get carried forward in the world. The same applies today. God has not changed. God still sets up rulers to carry forward his purposes in the world. President Trump is President, at the end of the day, because God has given him the Oval Office to further God’s own purposes through President Trump and his team. The same was true of President Obama. The same would have been true had Hilary Clinton been elected President of the United States.

Think of it. What are the chances of a non-politician, one with no political training or experience, rising to become the President of the world’s most powerful and prosperous nation? By human contrivance, the chances are very slim or nil. Someone with a political career, education, a statesman’s acumen, and connections with the establishment should rise to the top. However, as we have seen with this election, exactly that has not happened. Instead, someone who should not be the President by human convention, has been made the President. How?—Why simply because behind the win of President Trump is the sovereign hand of God Almighty!

3. President Donald Trump knows how to keep a business running through failure and success.
No one can deny, that in purely business terms, Donald Trump has been successful. To begin with, he has a businessman’s inheritance, if you will: his father, Fred C. Trump, having raised and trained a keen businessman in his son, Donald. And with all the flaws and failures of his businesses considered—the bankruptcies, the fines for Trump University, the withheld taxes, for example—Fred Trump’s son has learned “the art of the deal,” and knows how to keep a business corporation running. It is also evident that Donald Trump is a hard worker. Slackers don’t achieve what Donald Trump the businessman has achieved. Hard workers do. That is simply stating a fact.

Now some may say, “The fact that a businessman is our President is cause for concern, because business people are always looking to make profit for themselves, and that is selfish. How can we trust someone with a profit-minded or self-interest seeking kind of background?” My answer to you: you don’t have to necessarily trust that kind of person. But you can and should trust in the sovereign hand of God, even in the business dealings of a shrewd, self-interested business person.

Adam Smith, who lived in the 18th century and was a pioneer in the concept of Free Market, said of individuals who seek their own interest in business, “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”1 Adam Smith also said this about a person’s love of self-interest and profit in business, “…He is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.”2

As President Trump makes various deals for the interest of the country, as he did for his own interest in business, you can rest assured that the invisible hand of God will lead President Trump to promote ends for the United States, which may never have been part of Trump’s intention.

4. President Donald Trump needs much prayer.

The way forward for the peace of this country is not through violent protests and vitriolic words from celebrities. The way forward is through prayer. While Madonna says she has “thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House,”3 I can almost assure you, based on her behavior, that she does not pray to God for the White House or the President who now lives in it. A few days before Madonna’s antics, Rev. Franklin Graham at the Presidential Inauguration rightly reminded the nation to pray, reading from the letter of 1st Timothy in the Bible. Here we are taught the way to peace even when those who we despise are ruling:

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” 1 Timothy 2:1-2

When Paul wrote this to Timothy, the tyrant Nero was on Rome’s throne, persecuting and killing Christians, to whom this text is addressed. Imagine, praying for a ruler who wants to kill you? We are far more blessed today in that our rulers in the United States have been men of peace. And may it ever continue as we pray. If you are a Christian, it is incumbent upon us to pray for President Trump and his cabinet, just as we did for President Obama and his cabinet. If you are not a Christian, know that you are welcome to personally know and follow Jesus, the Prince of Peace and the Ruler of the nations. In personally knowing and following Jesus Christ, there is an alternative to all the violence and vitriol, a way of peace and prosperity that is not just temporal, but eternal.

5. President Donald Trump has appointed politically wiser people to surround him.

In his selection of various cabinet members, President Donald Trump has shown himself to be wise enough to know his limitations. Notice that I say that the President is “wise enough.” I am not trying to attribute Solomonic wisdom to President Trump. But he is wise enough, even in his perceived arrogance, to know just what his limitations as a non-politician President are. That is why he is leading, or managing, like a CEO by delegating work to men and women who are either more qualified than he is politically and strategically speaking, or have the potential to profit this nation. I think for example, of Vice President Mike Pence, whose presence in the Presidential equation (at least for me personally) assuages any excessive doubt or fear that may be had about the Trump Presidency. In selecting the experienced, wise, and godly Vice President Pence (and all the others) to partner with, President Trump has done well, intentionally or unintentionally.

6. President Donald Trump is not the one we ultimately place our hope in.

As America and the world looks for hope, everyone must realize that President Trump cannot, ultimately, give us hope. Neither can any other human being. We will be thoroughly disappointed if we place our hope in any man, politician or non-politician, as history has shown. The man who is our President can however, be a conduit of hope and hopeful, positive change. But we must give him a chance to be that conduit. So, there is hope for America, not because Donald Trump was elected and Hilary Clinton was not, but because the God, whose sovereignty I have been writing about, is in control. And with God in control, there is hope for all who genuinely seek Him. There is hope because this God who is in control of the world and the United States, is the God of hope.

7. President Donald Trump is in the hands of God.
Lastly, let us understand that God is not in the hands of Donald Trump. Neither is God in the hands of America, or Americans, though some would really like to think that is the case. No. President Donald Trump, America, and all Americans are in the hands of God, before whom we will all bow one day. The Bible says,

“The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell in it.” Psalm 24:1

While President Trump, Vice President Pence, and everyone else on the team administrates these United States from Washington, God sits on His throne in Heaven, looking down upon us to see how all of us will respond to God’s sovereignty. May we be found responding in ways that please this immensely sovereign, powerful, and glorious God and King.

As We Look Forward:
It remains to be seen how this President and his team will perform. I, like you, wait prayerfully to see what shall become of the plan to make America great again. But we should not merely wait to see what happens. The history of America and the world is being made. We should be eager to discern from God, the Author of History, what our role and purpose is at this time in history. Do you know your role? When we have discerned it, let us fulfill it will diligence. The seven points I have mentioned, if fairly and objectively considered, should open vistas of encouragement, and help us see at least the possibility of a positive and hopeful America under God, through President Trump.

© Kenny Damara, 2017.

1 Arnn, Larry P. The Founder’s Key. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2012.
2 Ibid.
3 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/01/21/no-madonnas-i-have-thought-an-awful-lot-about-blowing-up-the-white-house-isnt-a-threat-of-violence/?utm_term=.a85ac7bc6481

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