A year ago on November the 8th 2016 Donald Trump was elected President of the United States.
The unlikely president
It is a name that instantly evokes opinions, thoughts and emotions.
He is a straight, white, male, Republican, right-wing, nationalist, populist, politically incorrect arrogant billionaire capitalist whom to some is also a bigot, racist, sexist, xenophobe, Islamaphobe, homophobe and transphobe and just about any other 'ist' or 'phobe' you can think of.
What's not to hate about him?
For the above listed reasons the mainstream media and both the political left and neo-conservatives have heaped ferocious scorn on this man. He is a living symbol of everything that is supposedly wrong with the world. Trump is political incorrectness incarnate.
It almost makes me wonder if God is playing a big joke on us all.
The election of Donald Trump was not business as usual. It was a unique and unusual moment in history.
The backdrop to the 2016 US election was a western world that was becoming increasingly polarized politically. We saw the rise of nationalist populism and Brexit happen a few months earlier in the same year. We also saw increasing activism on the left. Black Lives Matter, slut walks, third wave feminism, micro-aggressions, gender pronouns and the cult of 'privilege'.
Into this arena came Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, two very controversial figures, representing the two extremes. The polls predicted that Clinton would win but the politically incorrect Trump unexpectedly triumphed.
It is all too easy to go along with the unthinking instant hate and scorn directed at Donald Trump. Like clockwork we fall in line to the way we are supposed to see this man. Sure there is plenty to not like about Trump; he is arrogant, of questionable character and morality and his display of militarism in his first year in office has betrayed some of the principles he claimed to uphold.
Yet as much as I could join the parade of cynicism I won't. It is too easy and I know there is a bigger picture.
For a start the immigration debate that Trump has raised is an important discussion that needs to be had. Demographic changes to a country matter. The question of whether a people have a right to remain who they are or be forced to lose their identity and culture and become something else is at stake.
Was Trump chosen by God?
Then there are those who sense there was something spiritually significant about the election of Donald Trump. There are a number of godly people who clearly prophesied that Donald Trump would win the US election long before most people thought it was possible.
Maybe we need someone like Trump right now. He is bold and unafraid to speak truth plainly. Maybe God wants to offend our polite modern sensibilities with an offensive President of the United States.
A few months ago I had a dream where I saw a room full of Christians laying hands on Trump and praying for him. Why not pray for him to encounter God in a very deep and powerful way that would be seen before the entire world?
It is not so much about Trump but the fact that God is using him to shake things up in the west.
The great shakening
We so often as Christians pray that God would make things smooth and nice but sometimes there are issues that need to be dealt with or addressed that can't be fixed or healed without a bit of conflict or issues being brought to the surface.
This election shocked us and maybe that was the purpose. Maybe God wanted us to be shaken to the core because he is sick of so much about where the west and the world are at the moment.
I don't think God has a problem with a bit of occasional chaos if it is ultimately redemptive. Since the election of Trump we have seen regular radical left-wing violence on the streets. We have seen Charlottesville and the rise of white nationalism. Maybe all of this is to show us that we are not in control. That these movements could grow powerful and there is not a thing we can do about it.
There may be chaos ahead. Some predict we may be entering a new Dark Ages and witnessing the end of western civilization. I don't know what the future holds but it seems to me there are political, social and spiritual forces at play that are far beyond the ability of any of us to control.
It is at times like these we must humble ourselves before almighty God. We must abandon our politically correct niceness or idealism and be honest about the fact that the world is a mess that we can't control.
Regardless of who is the President of the United States of America, God still rules this world. He is on the throne and he knows exactly what is going on and everything is utterly in his wise and sovereign hands including the fact that Donald Trump is the President of the United States.
I am confident that God has a greater purpose and will use whatever is ahead, good times or bad, to mold us and shape us into what he wants us to be.
Conor is from Adelaide South Australia. He is a gardener and is involved in ministry. He loves God, music, reading and thinking deeply about philosophy and current events in the world.
Conor Ryan’s previous articles may be viewed at: