A deluge of voices constantly reminds us that the world we see is hopelessly broken. Day after day, it becomes more apparent, and we can hardly ignore it. Yet we desperately want to. We want the world to be whole and the sunshine and rainbows to flood our days. Without even realizing it, we begin to believe hopeful lies to escape harsh reality.
The Hopeful Lies
We want to believe that man is basically good. Amid the evil we see around us, we hope that people act on good intentions. “Surely they didn’t mean it,” we convince ourselves. “It” being whatever heinous act we hear of on the news. Instead of seeing sin for what it is, we see it as somehow okay. We want to trust people. We want to see the good and nothing else. The raging optimist inside us hangs on to the smallest glimmer of hope, believing in the goodness of people.
We want to believe that we can make sense of it. We try to fit the events of the world into our narrative. When it goes differently than expected, we shrug and say, “Didn’t see that coming.” We take the disappointments and struggles and look for a reason. Human nature wants to know why. We blame the stars, the moon, the planets, and the seasons. We leave an omniscient God out of the picture.
“Because if God was really good, wouldn’t His plan align with ours?” we ask in misplaced confidence. We want to believe that we know best, and that God should go along with it. And when He doesn’t—when our man-made tower of expectation crumbles around us —we blame Him. Clearly, we know best, and God does not.
The Harsh Reality
Man is totally depraved and sinful. Unfortunately, we don’t live in the ideal world of well-meaning people. Man can do no true good in the eyes of God. Not in his own strength, anyway. Even Christians are sinners. We are all born selfish and continue in that vein until we are miraculously changed by the grace of God through slow but sure sanctification.
We can never make sense of God’s plan. Not fully. The Bible repeatedly reminds us that God’s ways are higher than our ways. Yet we can trust Him. But we will never fully understand what is really going on. Perhaps we aren’t meant to. We are finite beings, incapable of understanding the infinite wisdom of the all-knowing God.
The Glorious Truth
God has given us redemption through His Son. What glorious hope! In a broken, hopeless world, we have a Savior. He has redeemed us from our own depravity, and we have the means to share that salvation with others. One day, we will join our God in heaven. One day, He will rule over a new, restored heaven and earth. “But that’s so far away,” we think, “what difference does it make to me now?”
In the hopeful expectation of our coming Lord and glorious kingdom, we can trust the One for whom we wait. Until all is made new, we can know that all things work together for good. The world may say we’re crazy. People may argue, “You Christians just believe it to cope, but it’s irrational and you know it!” But we have more evidence for the goodness of God than the contrary. In a broken world, true hope is seen as crazy. Rationality is equated with pessimism or false belief in the goodness of man. But God has not left us comfortless. Praise be to the God of all comfort!
Instead of believing the lies, let us rest in the truth. Instead of trusting our plan, let us align our expectations with God’s. Let us cling to the promise that He will be with us through all of it. We don’t need to believe lies because we know truth. It’s time to be persuaded of our belief like Paul. Trust the omniscient One. Lean into the true, never-ending, and inescapable love of our Father God.