Thursday, June 23, 2016

God of Hope, for Hope, Through Hope, Believing On Hope

God allows life’s disappointments so we learn His hope that transcends them all, to overcome despondency, to live solely at His direction.
God allows life’s disappointments… they’re a fundamental sign that God is sovereignly in control, yet, of a broken world, that He allowed everything, at our will, to come to be that way; but that He has the final teleological (purposeful) say.  That God allows us to do as we choose, and doesn’t intervene, is proof He’s sovereignly in control; He won’t be coerced by anyone or anything.  He cares how we feel, of course, and He has the fullest faith in each of us that we can respond in a godly way — to learn and grow in humility, onward toward maturity.
… so we can learn His hope.  This is the purpose of life’s disappointments.  When we accept we cannot beat our hardships away, we learn to tolerate the nature of reality: life is hard.  Most of us only finally grow when life makes us give up on ourselves to such an extent we reach out to God, finally, in all sincerity, broken, but about to be restored.
God’s hope transcends all of life’s disappointments, but not straight away.  We learn nothing if our struggles are whisked away as with a magic wand.  Learning is part of God’s telos.  His purpose is that we develop.  Not simply until we stop growing physically, but through the entire lifespan, our characters becoming as beacons for and of Jesus.
… to overcome despondency.  Despondency is something we all get to try on.  It’s a drape we put over ourselves, to wear when the devil’s convinced us that life isn’t worth it, when it’s too hard.  Only the true Spirit of God can help us overcome despondency even in the face of it.  It’s easy enough to deny how we feel, but that doesn’t help us, and getting angry doesn’t help either; it hinders, even destroys.  Relying on God is the only way to stare at the face of a horrid truth and overcome it through accepting it.
… to live solely at His direction.  This is the final telos.  God’s final purpose.  To get us onto His agenda to live accepting His agenda, to live for His agenda.  Think about it.  Life’s hard, right.  Yet life is often harder than it needs to be.  Living solely at His direction allows God to steer our ship, to give up our despair for His patient hope, to endure the screeching moment.
© 2016 Steve Wickham.

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