Denial? No! Hope? Yes!
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32
We, humans, are known for denying reality under certain circumstances. As a little boy I could put on a tough face after a nasty fall on the playground with my buddies watching. "I'm OK!" I could claim loudly while grimacing inwardly. [That would not be the case if my mom was nearby to comfort.]
The God of the Bible never encourages our denial of reality. While the psalms are filled with laments, the Psalmist never loses hope. He finds his complete fulfillment in God. Nothing but God’s presence delights him. There he sings for joy (Psalm 84:2). One day in the courts of the Lord is better than a thousand anywhere else. Being a doorkeeper for the Lord is better than being in prominence in the “tents of wickedness” (Psalm 84:10).
In the same way, Paul in his letter to the Romans doesn’t downplay the reality of pain and suffering in this world. We groan as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. To help us, we have hope that gives us patience. We have the Holy Spirit to help us pray and to intercede for us. God promises that all things work together for good and that He has predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son. We are called, justified, and glorified by God.
Think about it
We can be confident that all this is true because if God has given us His Son, and He has, He will certainly give us every other necessary thing with Him. God promises that those who are in Christ Jesus will never lack any good thing.
If you are in Christ, you know what the Psalmist and the Apostle Paul are saying. Your heart longs to be with the Lord. This world is not your final destination. Nothing here totally satisfies you. You are a citizen of heaven and you want to be home (Philippians 3:20-21). But you are not home. Not yet. Your way may be difficult, but the victory is sure. You are more than a conqueror “through Him who loved us.” Be filled with hope because our God is the God of hope (Romans 15:13).
© 2017 John A Carroll Used by permission