The Dirty Gospel : Hope and Disappointment

I think it is impossible to talk about the Dirty Gospel without talking about hope.

" Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed." - Isaiah 49:23

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I don't know about you, but hope and disappointment seem to go hand in hand for me. In fact, journeying with God is basically one big "hope".

hope - to expect with confidence (Merriam Webster)

Hope elevates and stabs simultaneously. It is the desire for something to come. An unfulfilled dream, promise or destiny. But along the way we get weary.

I take God at His word only to begin to wonder if He has forgotten what He said. I hoped for a healthy baby. But I got depression instead. Bethany shared her hope for God to do something big, but she got a child with special needs and a husband with stage 4 cancer.   

I hoped for God to meet my need, but He isn't fair. In the dark nights and wild days we hope that God will be there. We pray He doesn't disappear. 

We are all hoping for something. Maybe it is family, finances, health, freedom from addiction, self-confidence, or a grand dream in your heart.

In the Bible we look at Abraham who believed "hope against hope" and all that. But this doesn't feel like some great sermon illustration. It's my life. It just feels like waiting. The days turn into months...turn into years. And still I am left hoping.

At some point doubt creeps in all of us. What did we do wrong? Is God punishing me for something? At what point do I throw in the towel? Hope hurts because we have to believe.

We begin to wonder if we sound ridiculous. " I know that we have prayed for 5 years, but my son is going to be healed" , "God promised a wife for me. I know that someone is coming" , "Sure, this economy is bad. But God said to start this business". Hope hurts because we have to risk.

We are forced to revisit disappointment over and over. Fight off discouragement and bitterness at unfulfilled desires. Our best efforts start to fall short. Rallying enough inner fight we face another day. Praying that this is the year of breakthrough. Hope hurts because it is exhausting. 

Usually when hope reaches the point of pain, we have been in the fight for years. Our resources and lives have been spent. Placing everything we are on the promise that God will be faithful. We make decisions on the premise that our hope will be fulfilled and our hearts will no longer be left wanting. Hope is all we have left, because we let go of everything else. Hope hurts because it is all on the line.

Our ability to control outcomes is removed. Circumstances and environments are not interpreted with worldly wisdom. Often we don't know what else to do but stand where we are. Praying that God moves something somewhere.

Facing a mountain range with a cardigan and sandals. Unprepared in the natural to tackle the spiritual. Abilities and carnal strength are no match for the promise. Our fleshly nature dies. Hope hurts because it kills us.

That is where the Dirty Gospel comes in. It reaches into my disappointment and reminds me why I hope. When I am too stubborn to look up, Jesus comes in after me. He gently pulls my face upword. Where my help comes from. Where my hope comes from.

I hope because despite the immediate situation, I know something more of Jesus. I understand the comfort of a generous Savior.

I hope because when there is nothing left in me there is always more of God.

Disappointment distracts us from the dream. Hope reminds us to endure until we reach the promise. ---> click to tweet.

 We cry in the process, but are ALWAYS victorious. In my need He is glorified and I am satisfied. I hope because this Gospel may be dirty sometimes, but it is always true. The One who makes the promise is the One who keeps the promise.

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