The gold of the gospel is that it reigns over all systems of oppression indefinitely.
It takes within it a consummate defeat and knows only victory. It refuses despair choosing to believe in the goodness beyond death. Indeed, belief transcends any notion of doubt. How can this make sense?
The gospel has a presence about it that turns the very moment of utter despair into a hope that successful people will never understand let alone experience.
It’s the style of the weak to know something in their brokenness that strong people have no idea about.
Indeed, a weak person, having experienced the power in vulnerability, will never wish to be strong again.
They are shown an eternal power that blows apart all human power, leaving it hopelessly forlorn of answer. And only when there is no human power to draw from. Yes, the rock bottom stage is where vulnerability is driven from.
Vulnerability only works when we’re too weak for anything else.
We must be smashed to smithereens to warrant and partake of it.
This gold of the gospel is so sensationally powerful we only need to experience it once, and we’re forever won to its universal and pressing truth. And as we embody this truth we’re destined to experience it more and more.
This truth is astounding: suddenly out of the jaws of death, as ashes comprehensively smother every living hope, there is a rising that pushes past demise and breathes a life that one has never known before; a life that leaves the old experience of ‘life’ in its wake.
Resurrection converts darkness into light, day from night.
And all from a weakness intended to completely flummox us.
What is it that differentiates two opposite forms of despair? One that brokers an irrepressible hope from a despair that is tumbling, barrelling, traumatising? One drives us into the purpose of search that cannot ultimately give up even if it does momentarily. The other cannot get past the magnitude of it all. And yet, magnitude takes us deep enough to make us expansively weak.
This is the difference the way I see it. One despair refuses the logic of reality and is caught up in a vision of a different reality some time off. It’s prepared to be patient, to bear suffering well and occasionally not-so-well, to suffer indignity after humiliation, to have hopes dashed continually. It does this because there’s no logic in remaining in despair. It realises that hoping for a fantasy is better than the hellish despair of present. The other despair cannot get past the present reality and cannot see beyond it to the relief that’s coming. It cannot see the value in obedience as a power for attracting good. It finds it impossible to bear the state of pain that is thrust against it.
This other despair is nonsensical from the other side.
Despair bears no comparison to hope.
Hope is worth the cost.
Hope is worth losing the present for. It is worth the pain that blindsides hope. It is worth building upon. And only from weakness are we arranged in such a way to be forced into a choice. But blessed is the position and the choice, to remain weak, to accept it, to rally from weakness in a regaling vulnerability that resists denial, anger and bargaining.
What I speak of here is a real possession of the regenerate person. Indeed, it is the fruit of regeneration.
But regeneration comes from honestly letting ourselves fall into the hands of God; by refusing to rely on any semblance of our human strength.
The less we need to try to help God to help us,
the more we give up trying to overcome in our own strength.
And if we offer no resistance in our despair, but hope alone in God,
then we will discover from there, God can do all we need Him to do.