If matters of faith trigger you or you find them offensive,
then this post is one you will want to skip.
Life can be difficult. No one makes it through life without painful trials and tribulations. And there is no doubt that having bipolar disorder on top of all of the typical trials and tribulations can make life even more challenging. There’s just no sugar-coating it. Hopelessness happens all too easily. But life can also be beautiful. The truth is, no one makes it through life without experiencing joy-filled events and blessings. But having hope and being hope-filled takes effort, unlike hopelessness.
Probably one of the most peculiar things about hope and hopelessness is that they can co-exist in life. When I reflect on the greatest difficulties and deepest depression that caused extreme despair in my life, it was hope that got me through the hopelessness. But it was not the “wishful-thinking” kind of hope that life would get better that got me through the hopelessness. That kind of “hope” is nothing more than wishful thinking that things may or may not get better. And that kind of hope was not enough for me. Hoping that things might get better could not even bring about the smallest of cracks within my despair.
So what is this “real” hope that got me through and continues to get me through living life with bipolar disorder? It’s the Real Hope that was born on Christmas and His promise. In particular, it is the promise of Romans 8:28 that has gotten me through the many incredibly painful events that could have easily led to the bottomless pit of hopelessness. In Romans 8:28 the apostle Paul tells us that the Lord will work all things together for our good. As a person of faith, I believe this. Knowing and believing this real hope does not mean that I stuff my feelings. Rather, it means that as I feel my feelings I’m able to work through them and deal with them because I know that He will take even the worst of life’s trials and tribulations and make them work together for me for my good. That’s hope. That’s real.
See, I’ve come to understand how my faith has been instrumental in my living well. I don’t do wishful thinking kind of hope. Instead, I do Romans 8:28 hope. In other words, as I go through difficulties (and there are plenty of them) I recognize them, feel the feelings because I know that the Lord will take all of the pain and make it work for my good. It doesn’t mean that all of a sudden things become easy. But I’m able to move through the pain, knowing how it will end.
The Lord is the real hope that was born in Bethlehem. The Father sent His Son into our messy world to redeem us. Born right in the midst of the stench of that stable, He came. Out of what appeared to be a hopeless beginning and an even more hopeless death on the cross, He rose as proof that He is indeed our sure and certain hope.
There is no way that I would be living well, much less living, without Him as my hope. Romans 8:28 has gotten me through the hopelessness. Grab ahold of that hope my friend. Whatever difficulties you are going through this Christmas Day, He can and will make though things work together for your good. No, he doesn’t promise a painless life. In fact, He says that in this life you and I will have difficulties. Instead, He promises to never leave you, and to take those problems and work them together for your good. And in knowing this, you and I can move forward in spite of our present circumstances.
On this Christmas Day, my prayer is that you will grab ahold of the real and certain hope we have that He will take all of your difficulties, pain, and problems, and work them together for your good. Keeping moving forward: moving one step at a time. He loves you. He is with you. He is for you. And He is at work; making all things work out together for your good!
A very merry and blessed Christmas to you! May His real hope fill you with peace. May His Spirit empower to live well in the New Year.
I hope you’ll take the time to watch this video and let this beautiful Irish blessing wash over you as you listen:
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community