In a good detective story suspense is a necessary ingredient. It exercises the imagination, arouses the interest and keeps it alive.
But there are many circumstances in life where suspense is not entertaining: waiting to hear about job offers, school entrance, health problems, the ups and downs of a stock or bond. Not knowing what we feel we need to know can seem to be a strain. Sometimes people say, half joking, ''The suspense is killing me!'' Sometimes it's not a joke at all.
The tension of harmful suspense comes from the basic philosophical belief that in the daily cause-and-effect of life evil is as real as good. The fear that evil may prevail in any vital circumstance can seem to cause destructive worry. Fear can be defined as faith in evil.
But such suspense is not necessary in the light of what the Bible teaches: ''I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace , and not of evil, to give you an expected end.'' n1
n1 Jeremiah 29:11
To put one's hope in God is to believe in the omnipotence of Love. The Bible teaches that God is Love and that God, Love, is almighty. The goodness of divine Love doesn't share its omnipotence with evil. Evil cause and effect are illusions. In harmony with the Bible, Christian Science teaches that all forms of evil, though seeming to be very real to the material senses, are actually sensory illusions, as unreal as any mirage.
In fact, everything the material senses behold is a false, limited view of what life really is. Divine Spirit has created all things spiritual and good. This Scriptural truth precludes the reality of evil.
In Christian Science, prayer acknowledges the allness of God's goodness and radically dismisses everything unlike divine goodness as nothing - that which seems to be and yet does not really exist.
It takes moral courage to put down the belief in evil with spiritual understanding. It may take a great deal of effort to learn to trust what we spiritually understand. No one learns to do that all at once. It takes practice. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says, ''To understand God strengthens hope, enthrones faith in Truth, and verifies Jesus' word: 'Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. n2
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 446.
When our conviction of the allness of good and the nothingness of evil is awakened, we command the circumstance. The healing Christ, so perfectly exemplified by Christ Jesus, is here today, a divine influence within each one of us, reassuring us of the inevitability of good and the impossibility of evil. As we're receptive to the Christ, step by step we increase our expectation of good. This spiritual hope displaces cruel suspense.
Faith in the uninterrupted presence of Christ destroys the fear that wonders, and replaces it with a trustworthy hope. Impending doom can be forestalled. The quality of our lives is directly determined by the magnitude of our faith in the exclusive influence of God's love and our willingness to express it.
If we have faith in God, good, suspense is no longer a strain. Like children at Christmas we expect good. And the kind of happy, legitimate suspense that goes with anticipating the opening of wonderful gifts is ours. There is no need for us to wonder, to agonize over decisions, or willfully to outline how good will appear. However, we are confident that it will appear. Mrs. Eddy says: ''Divine Love is our hope, strength, and shield. We have nothing to fear when Love is at the helm of thought, but everything to enjoy on earth and in heaven.'' n3
n3 Miscellaneous Writings, p. 113.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE%God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of sound mind. II Timothy 1:7