Thursday, 24 January 2008

Life At Its Best - 7 on Hope (and waiting through suffering)

Waiting does not mean doing nothing. It is not fatalistic resignation. It means going about our assigned tasks, confident that God will provide the meaning and the conclusions. It is not compelled to work away at keeping up appearances with a bogus spirituality. It is the opposite of desperate and panicky manipulations, of scurrying and worrying.
And hoping is not dreaming. It is not spinning an illusion of fantasy to protect us from our boredom or our pain. It means a confident alert expectation that God will do what he said he will do. It is imagination put in the harness of faith. It is a willingness to let him do it his way and in his time. It is the opposite of making plans that we demand that God put into effect, telling him both how and when to do it. That is not hoping in God but bullying God. 'I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.'
-- p. 126, Life At Its Best by Eugene Peterson

And he concludes,
[Psalm 130] does not exhort us to put up with suffering; it does not explain it or explain it away. It is, rather, a powerful demonstration that our place in the depths is not out of bounds from God. We see that whatever or whoever got us in trouble cannot separate us from God, for ‘there is forgiveness with thee’. We are persuaded that God’s way with us is redemption and that the redemption, not the suffering, is ultimate.

The depths have a bottom; the heights are boundless. Knowing that, we are helped to go ahead and learn the skills of waiting and hoping by which God is given room to work out our salvation and develop our faith while we fix our attention on his ways of grace and resurrection.
-- p. 127, Life At Its Best by Eugene Peterson

1 comment:

Sharon said...

I just wanted to come back and read this post again. And leave a comment this time.

"It is, rather, a powerful demonstration that our place in the depths is not out of bounds from God. We see that whatever or whoever got us in trouble cannot separate us from God, for ‘there is forgiveness with thee’."

I think I love this part the most. Thanks Wonil.