Monday, October 5, 2015

Day 5: Hopeless

This post is part of a 31-day series.

"I hate hope's guts."

Yesterday I said:  Sadness isn't a sin.  Unbelief is a sin.

I argued that sadness is an appropriate response to the world's and our own fallenness.  In addition, it can be appropriate to feel that "there's nothing I can do."  Did not wise Solomon conclude the same?

"Therefore I completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun."

Ecclesiastes 2:20

It is, after all, the single requirement of the gospel to come to the end of yourself and give up hope in your works.  


"There's nothing I can do" ≠ "Nothing will ever change."

This is where the question of belief comes in.  God has promised that something will change; namely, His people.

"We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit."

2 Corinthians 3:18

Despite the unglamorous, muddy trenches of depression, God is transforming us from glory to glory.

When I am tempted to hate hope, do I believe He is changing me?  

Long, even lifelong, stretches of emotional struggle can lead to a sense of futility.  What does it matter?  What difference does anything make?  

The difference faithful suffering makes is eternal, because the God Whose we are is working an eternal, as-of-now-unseen purpose.  He will be glorified--somehow--by my tedious struggle.

Do I believe this?

Looking around and looking within, sometimes despair seems logical.  But it can also be idolatrous:  I want to be strong, rather than being weak and allowing Jesus to be strong.  Jesus--the One whose purpose is hidden from me; the One who could snap His fingers and make my life easy but doesn't; the One who seems silent in my darkness.

There is an unbelieving, despairing sadness.

And there is a believing sadness that clings to flickering hope.

"The boy's father cried out and said, 'I do believe; help my unbelief.'"

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