A Post-Election Search for Peace

Is anybody out there glad that this presidential election is over?

Woo hoo! I am! And my sister, who lives in a battleground state, rejoiced when the last political ad aired.

According to CNN exit polls, the typical voter chose their candidate before September, yet we engaged in or endured a couple of additional months of ads, social media posts and pre-election anxiety.

Since I took an unconventional route in the voting booth, I was not surprised when my candidate did not win. But I definitely feel concern about the next four years.

However, the Word offers several principles that reassure me:

1. Romans 13:1 reminds me that “there is no authority except by God’s appointment.”

The election of Donald Trump was not a mistake. Regardless of the means God is allowing or using to bring him into office, Mr. Trump will receive authority by God’s appointment. I may not know God’s purposes in this appointment. Is it for blessing? Is it for judgment? But I can be absolutely certain that on Jan. 20th when President-elect Trump takes the oath of office, like everyone in leadership positions, he will receive his authority from God.

Nevertheless, I keenly feel my international friends' concerns. This morning my Eritrean friend, here in this country legally, but not a citizen, expressed fear that she would be deported under our President-elect's policies. I can't completely reassure her that won't happen, but I can pray with her and cling to the knowledge of God's character:

2.  God is compassionate (Ps. 116:5) and his care of creation reminds us of his care of each individual (Matt. 6:26).

Man's policies cannot short-circuit God's compassion and he cares for my Eritrean friend. Nothing will touch her life that does not pass through His fingers.

I pray that the Body of Christ in this country will embrace their privilege of being a channel for God's compassion by advocating for and caring for displaced people like my friend, regardless of the policies of any political party.

Yet I find myself wrestling with the possibility that they might not. We don't have to look far back in our own country's history to find times when human rights have been woefully neglected: Over 120,000 Japanese immigrants and Americans of Japanese descent were interned during World War 2. 

So my faith cannot stand on any man, instead my faith rests in God.

Another facet of God's character comforts me:

3. God is sovereign.

Regardless of who won the 2016 presidential election or any other election, I am certain that God is sovereign.

Truly I am God, I have no peer;  

I am God, and there is none like me,

who announces the end from the beginning

and reveals beforehand  what has not yet occurred,

who says, “My plan will be realized,

I will accomplish what I desire,”

who summons an eagle  from the east,

from a distant land, one who carries out my plan.

Yes, I have decreed, 

yes, I will bring it to pass;

I have formulated a plan,

yes, I will carry it out. (Isaiah 46:9b-11)

As I wrestle with my understanding of the interaction between man's free will and God's sovereignty, as others have for centuries, these verses above reassure me.

So I have found that the best source of post-election peace is to take a quiet moment to open my Bible. My rest is found in Him!

“I love you, Lord, my source of strength! 

The Lord is my high ridge, my stronghold, my deliverer.

My God is my rocky summit where I take shelter, 

my shield, the horn that saves me,  and my refuge.

–David in Psalm 18:1-2


Portions of this blog are adapted from my July 28 blog posted on this site.

Beth Barron and her husband have worked cross-culturally for decades, first in the Middle East and now in the U.S. She teaches English to refugees and uses her writing skills to advocate for them. Beth enjoys writing, biking, vegetable gardening and connecting heart to heart with other women. She is involved in her church's External Focus ministry. She and her husband have three adult children, two daughters-in-love and three grandsons. Beth graduated from Rice University in Houston, attended Dallas Theological Seminary and is committed to life-long learning.