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."
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.
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.'"
Next: Can't Think