Controversy in America after this election is UNPRECEDENTED!
The Presidential race here in the United States is FINALLY over. Now we at last know, after probably the most bitter and accusation filled election campaign in out nation's history, who our next President will be. Usually America quickly settles back down to the routine and reality of everyday life after a President is elected; but that is not to be this time.
The controversy raging in the protests across the country; those opposed to President elect Donald Trump; shouting out "THIS IS NOT MY PRESIDENT" — "THIS IS NOT MY PRESIDENT!" — poses some serious concerns of how far this dissatisfaction could go. The division in our country after this Presidential election is unprecedented.
I well remember some of the fears expressed among many when John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960; concerns because he would be a first Catholic President. I was just a twelve year old boy at that time. Some were fearful that President Kennedy would use his office to promulgate Catholicism; but of course it never happened. He was a popular and beloved President as I remember him. Our country grieved so deeply after his tragic assassination in Dallas, Texas, it is difficult to put our sadness into words. All of us who were alive at that time will always recall where we were at the moment when we learned of his death. What a heart breaking trauma that was for our nation.
The fears of a Catholic becoming a President pale in comparison to the raging controversy over Donald Trump being President. The backlash of this election is unlike anything we have ever witnessed in our nation. How long this emotional upheaval in our country will stew; and the resulting consequences; is yet to be seen. It is ominous to say the least.
Inspiring comments in both Acceptance and Concession speeches
In all fairness, I heard what I believe were inspiring comments in both the acceptance speech of the President elect ; as well as the concession speech of Secretary Clinton. Our President elect says that he wants to be a President for ALL of the people. He says we will be "proud — so proud of him." I believe he is sincere. I think he does want to be a good President. I think he does want to do his best for our nation. The question is however; will the realities that exist in this nation really allow him to do so?
Secretary Clinton gave a gracious concession speech. She rose to the occasion and encouraged America to come together. But will they really be able to do that? There is a great yawning grand canyon of moral values and political views that separate so many Americans; it is hard to picture us ever truly coming together.
The Bible proposes the question in Amos 3:3, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?"
One has to have that same question about our nation. How we TRULY come together, when there is such far reaching disagreement in our people?
Some need heroes
There are always those who appear to place certain leaders in an almost God-like estimation and expectation of what they can do. Some individuals seem to need heroes to adulate. They can have an almost fantastical, childlike faith in what they believe a human leader is capable of delivering.
I well remember hearing the words of an excited supporter of President Obama after he was elected, yelling out with happiness and anticipation; "Now I want have to pay worry about paying my mortgage!" While most supporters of a leader are not quite that naive and extreme; obviously some place faith in a leader to accomplish miracles they will never be able to bring about.
Human leaders are limited
Most of us who have been around awhile; temper our enthusiasm for a new President; with the reality that NONE we have known have ever been able to accomplish what they had said they were going to achieve or EVEN TRY to achieve.
I was struck by the words of President Obama in his most recent address when he reflected in regards to the Presidency, "Reality has a way of asserting itself very quickly."
Many probably felt sympathy for President Jimmy Carter; in his concession speech after he lost to Ronald Reagan; humbly admitting he had not accomplished what he had wanted to as President; and then reflecting "Who ever does?"
We should pray for our leaders
Certainly; as Christians we are admonished to pray for our President and leaders. We are told in God's Word in 1 Timothy 2:1-4: " I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men , For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."
We should pray for our President; that God would give him wisdom and guidance. We should pray for him and his family to be protected; especially in these hate-filled, volatile and violent times. Hopefully, he will be able to do some good things for America; that would make all of our lives more livable and bearable; that would make this a better nation.
But lets face the reality. The overwhelming problems of our country are too great for any mere human to be able to conquer. It has been revealing, through the different administrations, to see the Presidents age as they take on the herculean task of governing our nation. They must shoulder the problems of poverty, unemployment, crime, an ever increasing stupendous national debt, illegal immigration, national security, trade relations, Islamic terrorism, our military, wars breaking out all over the globe. Add to that national disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. If that wasn't enough there are the international catastrophes such as earthquakes, famines, floods and an avalanche of other possible disasters among other nations, that our county so often tries to aid. it is a huge ponderous weight of responsibility for any individual to assume.
The President just simply cannot predict the vicissitudes and unexpected tragedies of life. Life is just too unpredictable.
So, yes, our President does need our prayers.
This entire world travails in pain
But lets study what history has taught us. This is a suffering, unpredictable world. The Apostle Paul would say in his day, in Romans 8:22 : "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now."
That has been the history of mankind then and since Paul spoke those truthful words. Anytime you feel sorry for yourself about your situation; pick up any history book and you will see that this has always been a suffering; tragedy filled world; from the very beginning.
Any woman who has ever experienced the pain of giving birth to a child; well knows the thought the Apostle Paul is conveying here; the pain that the whole creation; including the animal kingdom; as well as man is having to endure. This is a suffering world; and much of it is caused by the sins of mankind; such as cruelty, and hatred; covetousness and self centeredness.
Suffering is an universal language. Tears are the same for Jews or Muslims or Christians — for all races and ethnic backgrounds. Tears are the same for the children, adults and the elderly.
Joseph Parker, a preacher of long ago , once told a group of aspiring young ministers, "Preach to the suffering and you will never lack a congregation. There is a broken heart in every pew."
Even the poor beasts suffer and travail in our world . We see it around us all the time. Some of you probably remember the rare Congo mountain gorillas slain back in 2,008; because of men's greed and cruelty. What sad pictures came back to us of those magnificent gorillas lying lifeless on the ground. Cattle freeze to death out in the fields during harsh winters; having no place to go for shelter. It happened in the area where we live just last winter.
How heart-moving to have to see the suffering of animals; even more so for humans who freeze to death out in the streets because they have no home. And despite all of the wonderful organizations such as the Salvation Army and and caring individuals, hopefully including us, try to help; we always come of short in our efforts to end suffering.
Jesus Christ preached the Gospel of His coming Kingdom
Jesus Christ ALSO never lacked a congregation. It tells us in the gospel of Matthew 4:23-25 : " And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. Great multitudes followed Him from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan."
Christ preached the Gospel of His coming Kingdom. Gospel in the original Greek means "joyful message" or "good news" or "glad tidings"! It was a joyful message about His Kingdom, where suffering would ultimately end. And He was speaking to a suffering people; who had been for centuries killed and persecuted by the Assyrians, Babylonians and subjugated to the Romans. Many of them were "day laborers", living day to day; from hand to mouth. A few days without income could very well mean for many of them starvation.
Jesus Christ taught us how to PRAY
Jesus not only encouraged and heartened them about His coming Kingdom; He taught them many wonderful truths that would strengthen their lives. He instructed them how to pray. And He taught them, as well as us, an admonition about prayer; in addition to praying for our leaders; that we should remember and practice. What Christ encourages to pray will enable us to fuel a burning hope in our mind that will cheer us all of our life.
Jesus Christ's disciples came to Him early on in His ministry. They had seen Christ praying many times; alone by Himself; going to a private place to pray; sometimes early in the morning. How inspiring that must have been to see the Messiah praying. It must have left an indelible impress upon their mind that was never to leave as long as they lived.
So they came to Jesus and they asked Him to teach them how to pray. And He gave them a prayer outline. You will find it in Matthew 6 and Luke 11 in the Holy Bible. Christ did not intend us just to pray this prayer by rote; word for word; as some routinely do. It was an outline; an exemplar, a pattern for us to follow. Notice His instructive words in Matthew 6:9-13 —
"After this MANNER therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
Pray THY KINGDOM COME!
Note the third area of prayer that Christ mentions; to pray "Thy Kingdom Come." We should be praying about that every day.
Only then will one come to lead our world; who truly can solve our problems; The Messiah!
The Gospel must be preached before Christ returns. He would prophesy in Matthew 24:14 "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a WITNESS to all the nations, and THEN the end will come."
We should pray that the Gospel; that is the "good news" of God's Kingdom will be preached in all the world for a witness. That commission must be completed before Christ's return. We should pray that God would send laborers to finish the work he has called us to do.. Notice Luke 10:2 —
"Then He said to them, "The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out LABORERS into His harvest."
And pray that He would HELP those who are laboring in Christ's Work! All of those who preach the Gospel need God's strong hand so greatly; we just cannot do it on our own strength!
Christ alone can fulfill His AGENDA!
Every new President has an agenda of what he wants to accomplish. There has never been a President or leader of any nation; who could fulfill all that was on their agenda. Men are limited. But Jesus Jesus Christ, after He returns, will fulfill all that is on His agenda. Notice His promise in Isaiah 55:11 —
"So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall ACCOMPLISH what I please, And it shall PROSPER in the thing for which I sent it."
Christ is a leader who KEEPS His Word. He will fulfill ALL He has promised; we can take that to the bank! We read of one of His great ultimate goals; that He will fulfill in Revelation 21:3-4 —
" And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."
That is the Kingdom we should be praying for! Jesus Christ is the ONLY ONE with the shoulders big enough to conquer this world's problems; end it's hate and continuous wars and death. Only THEN will this world cease to groan and travail in pain and suffering.
Yes, we need to pray for our President
As Americans; as Christians; yes we need to pray for the President; even if you wish he wasn't our President. He is facing some gargantuan challenges; some he realistically will probably never be able to totally solve. Hopefully he can help our nation some; certainly he needs our prayer and respect.
But one great day; a day thankfully I believe is not too far in the future: a leader will come WHO CAN heal this world's ills — Jesus Christ will return and establish His Kingdom. Only His coming will stop the suffering of this world. And that is why we should pray every day, "Thy Kingdom Come!"
Perhaps, you want to learn more about the Kingdom of God. We have this booklet, on that wonderful Kingdom to come, on our website at this link. — Just What Do You Mean...KINGDOM OF GOD?
In addition, we also have this booklet available in hard copy; you can receive free of charge by requesting it by the contact information we provide on our web site — Western Region Church of God. All of our literature, DVDs and CDs are provided free of charge and there will never be a follow up.