Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Trusting God When Hope Fades

Moving home, with all its packing and stresses, changing workplaces, and having absorbed our fair share of shock and complicated grief, leaves us tired, but not without hope. Our hope is Jesus.
But it’s too easy to treat Jesus as the clich├ęd solution maker. Jesus doesn’t work that way.
This time of year, many people are going through change.
It can be easier than we think to start to question our hope. Doubting becomes us in a second having endured one frustrating event too many. Beset by dramas so often so unexpected we can really feel we’ve been tested beyond our capacity to cope.
Quickly we are pushed to the point of reacting – and emotions can take us in many different and unpredictable directions, for instance, sobbing, screaming, withdrawing or whining.
Having reacted we will have possibly overstepped the mark. Disappointed with ourselves for having hurt a loved one with something we said or how we reacted, or having said something to someone like a peer at work, we now have to make bold restitution. As if things weren’t bad enough!
Or, perhaps we’ve come to be depressed because we’ve become worn down emotionally and spiritually. Our thinking has responded to how we’ve felt and we are feeling more negative than usual and we can’t escape these feelings.
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Getting up off the floor when we have been down and out for a while can seem too hard. Every effort looks laborious. We need to challenge our thinking.
Jesus came to remind us, that, through his crucifixion and resurrection, he’s made a way for hope in what seems hopeless. He’s made a way for peace even in torment.
Jesus said that “though me you shall have peace” and that we can “be of good cheer” because he’s overcome the world.
When we choose to have Jesus inhabit us by the Holy Spirit we are able to demonstrated radical trust to consider our trials pure joy.
Trust is obedience. And obedience – doing what Jesus says without question or complaint – is the way to an innovative way through any problem.
Sometimes we just need space to be real; a few minutes, an hour, a day.
But, as we hold two strategies together – the willingness to trust God without question, and the ability to back the pressure off ourselves – we have the way forward without backing ourselves into a corner.
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Being gentle with ourselves is wisdom when hope fades. Just a little space makes a great difference. And trusting God is moving forward into hope.
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.

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