This post is the conclusion of our four-part “Hope” series. The story behind the healing journey of a family from Niger is told by Josh Korn, one of the Spiritual Directors at CURE Niger.
When you really boil it down, hope is one of the central messages of the whole Bible. It is a peculiar type of hope that is hopeful in the face of despair. It is unflinching hope that is aware of the very bad things that are happening, and aware of the chance that even worse things are on the way. But through it all there is still hope. Impossible, unbelievable hope.
When hope is impossible and unbelievable, we sometimes call it faith.
Faith means believing that God can do something even though there is nothing to be done. When you are in the position of Job’s friends, this seems very silly. Maybe even irresponsible. If up is up and down is down, then you must have done something to end up so far down and should do something else to get back up. But we forget sometimes that this is an attitude of privilege. Not all can afford to think this way. Only those who don’t face problems, or who face problems but have the means to make the problems go away, can view difficulties in terms of “do” and “undo.” For the majority of the earth’s population, the problems are always there and do not go away.
However, no matter how privileged you are, there are some problems that everyone has to face. Death touches everyone, and so can disability. When that happens, no matter how reasonable you are and how wise your choices in life have been, you might find yourself in the silly position of hoping for the impossible. You might also find yourself questioning God. When you are forced to face the big problems, the problems you cannot resolve or outrun, the most natural reaction in the world is to question God. Why death? Why disease? Why injustice and evil? These problems make us question the way this world works, and that is normal, because the world is broken.
This is exactly the point. The world is broken and needs to be restored. The world is in need of redemption. The world is in need of a Redeemer, someone who will wipe away the tears and the blame. There may not be much evidence of this Redeemer in the world, but those who continue to believe in spite of the evidence are not convinced by evidence. They are convinced by hope, and consequently, they may find themselves in the same silly position that Job was in when he said in chapter 19 (only 15 verses after saying that God has uprooted his hope like a tree), “my Redeemer lives.” (Job 19:25, NKJV)
This series was originally published at http://joshjulieblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/blame/