I had been removed from a position at work, from a division I had led, and a people I had loved. It hurt me deeply and shook me to the core. Had I been perfect? No. Did I deserve this? No, not in my estimation, anyway. The decision had been made, however, and I found myself struggling with a deep sense of injustice. Although I had observed it plenty throughout the years, I had not lived as one reeling from the feeling of wrong.
And I had landed on my feet! I was still employed by the company, still well compensated, and now in a new position with a new challenge to embrace. So if my world was so rocked and racked with pain, I had no choice but to muse about those who really knew injustice, such as people profiled by outward appearance, the naïve innocents manipulated and coerced into sex trafficking, lives lived behind bars for something they did not do, and the child beaten by the parent whose love he craves, confused and wondering, “Why? What did I do?”
Despair—it’s where we find ourselves when we are utterly at a loss. It is that place where we are overwhelmed by things that aren’t as they should be, where we are overcome by wrongs too big for us to right. So we live there in despair, some of us only temporarily and some of us not so fortunate.
Sometime before I sensed any change at work—before I realized that things might not go well for me—God had pulled me close to Him. I had begun to read His Word daily and to journal what it was teaching me and how it was changing me. It wasn’t long before I began to grasp how personal God’s love was for me, that He was even more eager than I to spend time together. I began to “get” David, the psalmist, and his complete openness before God. I began to “get” John, the apostle in awe of Jesus’ love for him. The Spirit of God was changing me through the Word of God, and I lived daily in hope.
Hope—it is the confident expectation of good, regardless of circumstance. When my rejection and pain came at work, I knew this hope. I had experienced it. It was mine. So even as this difficult season had now come upon me, God continued to open my eyes to His truths, assuring me of His presence and filling me with His joy. Each day, I expected good and, every morning, He who is goodness fulfilled my hope. His presence with me—His Word and His Spirit in me—was my hope.
So I found myself knowing an unimaginable joy while suffering an unprecedented pain. For God did not walk me around the crucible; we walked right through its purifying heat together—joy triumphing over pain and hope defeating despair.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
Click here to read today’s Scripture in Romans 5:1-5.
Today’s post is an excerpt from Christ in Me. Copyright © 2016 Paul Nordman. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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