Greater the Despair, Deeper the Gospel’s Grace

“Yet those that be against us, so far are they from thwarting us at all, that even without their will they become to our causes of crowns, and procurers of countless blessings, in that God’s wisdom turns their plots unto our salvation and glory. See how no one is against us!

– John Chrysostom (349-407)

Such is the power of the gospel in the trash of life that even in loss, there is victory, where we live as if, in that defeat, it was a victory. Only in failure, when things are not going according to plan, do we get the compelling opportunity to show how different our lives are, living joyously for hope despite the loss, for the sake of Christ! This is why there is more to celebrate in despair than in hope, for in pain, our attitude should rise on the wings of hope. The more we’re thwarted, the more God is with us through a joy that overcomes that blocking through patient perseverance. But responding in this gospel way is so counterintuitive that it’s hard to even when we know it’s God’s will that we respond that way.

Yet, we only need to respond this way once, and we experience its power.

We only need to respond in this counterintuitive way once to experience Christ’s gospel power. Likewise, we only need to cry out to God in our distress once, for one night, and finally, we share the truth of God’s promise. This joy-indwelling relief comes after an exhaustingly despairing lament simply because we’ve knelt before God’s honor in pleasing Him. God’s Presence in and through us, having satisfied Him in surrendering to His will, becomes its compelling evidence. Such strength in comparative weakness to obey, not to be overcome by our screaming desires!

Greater the Despair, Deeper the Gospel's Grace 1

This is why this gospel way works: faith goes ahead of reason, knowing that God is faithful, and, in doing what is right, faith alone is revealed as blessed – despite how we feel when things are so wrong. The more things appear against us, while we know God is for us, the more our hope shines despite myriad despairs and difficulties. Nothing is truly against us in the totality of all spiritual realms when God is for us.

Trust in His Spirit, rely on His strength, obey His Word, and all will go well, especially when there are many hardships. Nothing else works like it in God’s creation: the greater our despair, the deeper the gospel’s reach through grace into our lives. The more we’re touched by grief and loss, the more we’re reached by grace and love. © 2016 S.J. Wickham.

Roberto Brock
the authorRoberto Brock
Snowboarder, traveler, DJ, Swiss design-head and HTML & CSS lover. Doing at the nexus of art and purpose to develop visual solutions that inform and persuade. I'm a designer and this is my work. Introvert. Coffee evangelist. Web buff. Extreme twitter advocate. Avid reader. Troublemaker.