Based on Romans 8:28-39
I ran into an AME Zion Church colleague and friend yesterday, and – as many people have been doing for the last week or so – we commiserated about the coming Donald Trump Presidency. We talked about our shared uncertainty about what was ahead for America, but he also said something that resonated with me – “At least Trump will put black folk on their knees again – attendance at my church was way up last Sunday.”
He made me think back to something that I saw as a pastor during the Reagan and Bush Presidential eras. People of color sensed the coming struggles and turned to God for inspiration and encouragement, and human and civil rights organizations found renewed unity, direction, energy and purpose to stand against those who challenged our national well-being – that’s already happening in the wake of Trump’s election.
The Trump Presidency may be rough, but it might lead to spiritual renewal and revival among people of faith and of good will. Trump might become God’s unintended instrument to bring people of good will together around a common agenda of equity, freedom and justice – God has a way of taking what looks bad and turning it into a blessing.
Remember that as you face the reversals that come to all of us in this life. The best of us run into troubling situations, challenging problems and threatening people, but that’s not what matters. What matters is that the God who created all that is – including Donald Trump – works for our progressive good in ways that we don’t understand.
The God we serve still has the power to bring peace in the midst of life’s storms, victory in spite of life’s disappointments and new strength in the face of adversity. That’s why the Apostle Paul told those facing probable persecution in the Roman Church, “…in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
Look to the Lord, even in your dark and uncertain times. You’ll find that what seem to be obstacles will become opportunities, that what seem to be defeats will be victories and understand why my ancestors in the faith, whose entire world view was crushing bondage, still had the faith and strength to look to the Lord and sing, “He’s got the whole world in His hands.”