For every “God is good” thought, there are also “then where is He?” thought. Here’s how I transition from despair to hope.

“Embracing faithful love” is straightforward. Theoretically,  it should be easy. I mean, how hard is it to love someone whom you are thoroughly convinced loves you?

I read verses of God’s faithfulness and want to embrace it. But if I’m sincere, that’s all it is, a desire to believe. I want to rest in it. It turns out it may be simple, but it isn’t easy.

As a new day dawns, there are recent tragedies. When I felt I grasped God’s presence, further doubt arose and plagued my confidence. People are still suffering. For every “God is good” thought, there are also “then where is He?” thoughts. There are several verses related to going through deep waters, and they deeply resonate. It feels like I’m being tossed about, treading water one moment, plunged to the depths the next. I am weary.

“The difference between complaint and lamentation is the turning from despair to hope.”

Sally J

Complaint vs. lamentation

But God. The difference between complaint and lamentation is the turning from despair to hope. The Israelites complained in the wilderness, after the parting of the Red Sea no less, and their complaints led them to question God’s goodness. David passionately laid it out in the Psalms; however, in all but one, he turned. He said this is horrible, but God is good. Now, side-note, a recent study of David and how he treated women makes me nauseous. I mean, not just Bathsheba, but his daughter Tamar and Michal are just property, taken and given at whim. Not to mention the multiple other wives and concubines. The man’s household is a hot mess, top-rated reality show fodder. He did nothing about his own daughter’s sexual assault. And this? This is a “man after God’s heart”? What kind of God is pleased with David’s actions? Seriously, even bible study gives me more questions and doubts than answers.

What if being a “man after God’s heart” doesn’t mean that David is a fine example of personhood that we should emulate fully? (He 100% is NOT, and I question or probably run away from anyone who says he is). What if the praise for being a man after God’s heart is just that David continually pursued, embracing God’s faithful love amid doubt? We, too, can lay it all out and state the current reality: God, this doesn’t look like redemption. This doesn’t look like what you promised. Those who call themselves by your name spew hatred and don’t reflect your image. Evil is seated in places of authority and, seemingly with impunity, killing, stealing, and destroying. This doesn’t sound like what I’ve been taught about God’s almighty ability to save. 

I have been drawn to God. I am drawn to the coming kingdom when “justice and righteousness kiss” Psalm 85:10. When men “study war no more” Isaiah 2:4. When all of creation is redeemed and can flourish together, when there is perfect Shalom, if I have always been drawn to God, it must be because of unfailing love that lasts forever. An everlasting love that can withstand doubt and questions. An unfailing love that continually draws me back.

Victorious by Cross Worship Music

In moments where we find ourselves having to transition from despair to hope, a song of hope and encouragement can go a long way. As you listen to the song, reflect on these questions: What has drawn you to God? Can you rest in knowing that was God drawing, nurturing, and continuing to call you near?

Author: Sally J.
Sally, resides in Minneapolis. When she’s not working as a clinical psychologist, she loves to write and champion the cause for Justice.