Note the word beyond. Assume it means on the far side of or the other side of. Assume beyond also means far away from and outwith.
With this in mind, two potential paths to living beyond despair become apparent. The first involves encountering despair and overcoming it with spiritual hope. The second entails avoiding or shunning despair altogether by utilizing temporal hope.
Considering the nature and reality of mortal life, the first path appears less common – at least when it comes to contending with despair spiritually. The second, though possible, seems idealistic -- perhaps even false. After all, how would one even know one is beyond despair if one claims to have never experienced it or leaves no space for it due to elevated optimism and hope for this world?
Hope is the universally prescribed antidote for despair, but what kind of hope can dispel despair and propel one beyond it to the beginning of life?
Vanquishing despair with hope can be a double-edged sword. We all know that the devil tempts toward despair, but many seem to have forgotten that the devil can also tempt with hope.
For example, relying on predominately temporal hopes may provide Christians with unfathomable optimism and many reasons to live, struggle, fight, organize, and build; however, hope based primarily on churches, societies, culture, and civilization may also distance them from the real hope Christ offers.
If the devil can provide Christians with enough worldly hope and get them invested in enough reasons to live in the world and for the world, then he knows he may succeed at getting Christians to regard the hope Christ offers as secondary.
On top of that, the more the devil succeeds in grounding Christian hopes firmly in this world, the more chance he has at dashing those hopes when the temporal inevitably succumbs to entropy and death.
From a Christian perspective, living beyond despair demands that we face despair sincerely – that is, spiritually – and work to overcome it via inner transformation guided by the hope Jesus offers. For Christians, the orientation of this transformation must be next-worldly. This kind of hope-inspired transformation can overcome this-worldly despair and help place one beyond its clutches.
Some might consider such next-worldly hope to be lopsided in its focus and may even complain that it makes Christians passive and complacent about worldly affairs.
Nothing could be further from the truth. When Christians vanquish temporal despair with spiritual hope, they do not turn their backs on the world. They turn and face the world from the transformed viewpoint of a new life beyond despair.