What are you struggling with right now, which you think you need something specific to happen in order to get closure? Perhaps it is a relationship in turmoil. Perhaps it is unresolved guilt. Perhaps you feel you need an apology or acknowledgement. Maybe it’s justice you need. Or healing. Or clarity. But what if you got the thing you think you need in order to have resolution?
I have heard people involved in horrific court cases, who long for a specific verdict or sentence, express an unexpected discontentment when that verdict or sentence is delivered. Closure can create a juxtaposition with hope. We lean forward in anticipation of something that will help, but that something comes, and we’re still unsettled.
Because when hope is conditional, we shortchange what it is intended to be.
Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
Hope is inextricably connected to faith. We often think of hope as a wish. It’s what we want. It is completely centered on our own perspective and preference. It is our desire. The hope of faith is so much more. It is the confident expectation of God—his promises, his faithfulness, his character. Hope is less about us and more about God. And maybe we don’t like that. We want to determine our hope. We want to have some input. But it’s not as if God ignores or discounts us; he simply keeps us in check. He keeps our perspective and preference in the context of his. And don’t we want more of a reality check than our own little worlds?
When I get selfish and expect God to provide a specific outcome, I not only set myself up for disappointment but I also undermine the relationship I have with him. After all, my faith in God is built in trust. If it’s a power tug of war, I lose. I lose faith. I lose assurance. I lose hope.
When someone once close to me decided to walk away, he was excessively harsh, and he rationalized it as not wanting to give me false hope. As if harshness eliminates hope? Once again, only if hope is limited to an outcome. When hope is the confident expectation of God, no one can dictate it away. No one can harm it. No one can determine it for someone else. It’s not about a situation. It’s not about a conclusion. It’s about God. It’s the anticipation of the fulfillment of his truth.
Hope and closure are not as juxtaposed as we might think, at least, not when they are positioned in the truth of who God is. Both are built in certainty.