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Is a Lack of Hope a Lack of Trust?

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  • Is a Lack of Hope a Lack of Trust?

    I'm reluctantly concluding that it is but I'm not sure what to do about it. I am not (excessively) depressed but I'm not seeing a good outcome here. I'm thinking that I'm not gonna get what I'm praying for - not that God cannot grant it, He can, but that He is gonna say no. Now, it's okay for Him to say no - He's God and I'm not. I'm okay with that and with not understanding the purpose here - been thinking of Job of late (before this happened), "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." Currently my favorite verse.

    But is believing that God is likely to say no a lack of trust/faith? It's not hopelessness - I'm not concluding that the universe is ending or that I'm gonna end up homeless (even though...) - I just feel resigned to losing. I haven't won any of my other battles - why should this one be different? That doesn't worry me but the thought that I'm not trusting God does.

    So, assuming that made sense to anyone, anyone have any ideas?

    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


    "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

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  • #2
    I'm not good at answering these kinds of questions but this reminds me of something John MacArthur has said. That's it's sinful to not rejoice (always? or specifically in our trials?).

    And I believe there's a reason John Mac says that. It's just that our hope is so great, and God's sacrifice of His Son on the cross was so deep a sacrifice, that there's no possible reason we have for not rejoicing (all the time!).

    And considering the magnitude of that fully demonstrable sacrifice, one can (and should) readily believe the truth of the idea that keeping that sacrifice in view, God would never withhold something of lesser value (like blessings of comfort/consolation) unless He thinks we will "survive" unharmed without them.
    3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures --1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (borrowed with gratitude from 37818's sig)

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    • #3
      However, even Jesus mourned - mourning is not sinful in Scripture. Not putting on sackcloth and ashes isn't the same thing as not mourning at all.

      There's a balance - it's not that it's not okay to mourn, it's that it's not okay to let mourning - or anything else - get in the way of our relationship with God.

      I agree that we should always rejoice in God - but that's not the same thing as rejoicing at every adversity. It's okay to cry when bad things happen; it's not okay to wallow in that sorrow or to lose sight of God's goodness in the process.

      Not sure how rational that came out... .

      "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


      "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

      My Personal Blog

      My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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      • #4
        Hope is in what we do not yet have. Trust [faith, belief] is in what we now understand to be true.

        So T, I'm not sure I am understanding what you are grappling with.

        But two verses regarding "hope" come to mind.

        ". . . In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; . . ." -- Titus 1:2. I understand this to refer to the future hope of immortality (1 John 3:2, Titus 2:13). Not the eternal life that believers now have (1 John 5:12, 13).

        "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." -- Hebrews 11:1.

        As I read this, I understand "faith" and "hope" to be two different things. Faith, is in what truth we know. Hope is in what we do not yet have. And faith being in proof [truth] which are of things not being things observable. These comments do not do the text justice, as to what I understand it to mean. The verse is talking about our Christian faith, not the mere definition of faith being in what is true. The sole reason for faith, is in what is real, whether we have first hand knowledge of the evidence or from someone else who has the evidence. [Such as the writers of the holy scriptures.]
        Last edited by 37818; 09-27-2014, 10:07 PM.
        . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

        . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

        Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

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        • #5
          A lack of hope -- if it is, indeed, that -- is a sign that you need your brothers and sisters to come alongside you and pray, support and encourage. I'm all in!
          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
            I'm reluctantly concluding that it is but I'm not sure what to do about it. I am not (excessively) depressed but I'm not seeing a good outcome here. I'm thinking that I'm not gonna get what I'm praying for - not that God cannot grant it, He can, but that He is gonna say no. Now, it's okay for Him to say no - He's God and I'm not. I'm okay with that and with not understanding the purpose here - been thinking of Job of late (before this happened), "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." Currently my favorite verse.

            But is believing that God is likely to say no a lack of trust/faith? It's not hopelessness - I'm not concluding that the universe is ending or that I'm gonna end up homeless (even though...) - I just feel resigned to losing. I haven't won any of my other battles - why should this one be different? That doesn't worry me but the thought that I'm not trusting God does.

            So, assuming that made sense to anyone, anyone have any ideas?
            I would tentatively interpret your suspicion that the answer will be 'no' as a suspicion that what you want is not God's will. In that case, I would see prayer for that outcome as consciously going against God's will, which should rightly make you uncomfortable. I think in that case it would be best to stop praying for that particular outcome. I would pray something along the lines of, "God, show me Your will. You know I want ______, but Your will be done."

            Does that help, or am I totally off base?
            Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

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            I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Laura
              But is believing that God is likely to say no a lack of trust/faith?
              No. Believing that God is likely to say no is a healthy realization of His sovereignty. It is allowing Him to be God and understanding that in spite of what our will says we want, He is in charge and His will will be done, yes, no, or wait.

              Faith is not a hammer waiting to beat us over the head if we "don't have enough to make what we want come to pass". Those who believe that if they have enough faith nothing bad will ever happen to them, and if bad things happen, then their faith is is doubt, are following a different Jesus and a different gospel.

              You are experiencing normal reactions, sweet girl. Just like Job did. And David. And almost everybody in Scripture who are held up before us as examples. The bottom line is that all of those experiencing these human reactions in the end allowed God to be God and bowed to His sovereign will.

              CP is right. You are loved by so many, and all so many of us can do is pray, and encourage you in whatever way we can. We have, so many of us, lost jobs, and wondered what will happen to us. And always there is anxiety and stress and waiting for what the Lord has next. The important thing is to take those anxieties to Him as well as every other emotion. He knows about them anyway.

              And then look up and see how exciting the next thing can be!

              Love you, sweet girl.





              Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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              • #8
                Forgive me if I appear presumptuous here, but it seems like you are dealing with anxiety more than anything else. I would strive not to get bogged down in a state of "am I really trusting God?". Dwelling on that sort of thing while in your circumstances will not help much. Try and be persistent in prayer and just talk to God as you seek comfort in Him while you get practical - devise a plan or seek out help/guidance from Church or professional services.

                Hope that helped some!

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                • #9
                  If you are still trusting God for the things He has actually promised, your lack hope is not a lack of trust. God never "promised us a rose garden," so to speak. He has made some specific promises that will not fail. Mourning the things you do not have is not lack of trust in God. We are saddened by things that hurt us. Your trust is intact.
                  Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

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                  • #10
                    This comes to mind:

                    Mar 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
                    . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

                    . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

                    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What do you hope for, and in whom do you trust to deliver it?

                      And if God told you as directly as He's able that it was a false hope, could you accept that outcome and continue on, trusting Him to do His will and not yours?

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                      • #12
                        Teal, I think you need to slow down . It's caused you to do some self-examination, which is normal. To jump to such ideas as this is premature IMHO. Perhaps this valley is necessary for your future. Walk it, with our prayers.
                        Watch your links! http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/fa...corumetiquette

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                        • #13
                          "All things are possible for the one who believes [NCV]."
                          Last edited by Truthseeker; 09-28-2014, 05:05 PM.
                          The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

                          [T]he truth I’m after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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                          • #14
                            Hi and thank you, everyone,

                            I did a pretty bad job putting it into words. OBP got the gist but it came out backwards.

                            1) Those things I know He promised I know He will deliver - No problem there.

                            2) That He will grant those requests within His will - and minus the doubting - I firmly believe.

                            Where I was having trouble was the 'request I think He'll say no to'. I'm okay with Him saying no (not the answer I want, obviously) because He's God and I'm (thankfully) not. My question was whether resigning myself to a no without further prayer / waiting for an answer was the same thing as not trusting Him to possibly say yes - and I think it is. Paul tells us to bring all requests in prayer and supplication and Jesus tells us to be persistent in our requests. When (and that will be sooner than I'm ready for - ACK!!!) He answers, then that's that. In the meantime, it can't hurt to ask and having asked, to work on other things (strength, wisdom, not losing my tenuous grip on sanity... Yeah, I know - I already lost it.).

                            And yes, Mark 9:24 did come to mind. Getting a LOT overly negative and a little panicky, can you tell?

                            I'm oddly calm and not angry. God is good!

                            Thanks again!

                            "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                            "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                            My Personal Blog

                            My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I don't think God will say no. It's just that even if you meet all requirements, what you want may take a variable amount of delay. Also you may have difficulty recognizing that God will have responded positively.
                              The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

                              [T]he truth I’m after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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