Let me ask you a question: do you consider yourself an optimist or a pessimist? How would those closest to you answer that question? Do you see the proverbial glass as half full . . . or half empty? Can you find the silver lining in every dark cloud . . . or the dark lining in every silver cloud?
Well, I’d like to offer you the divine directive for living a life of “Omnipotent Optimism,” regardless of the circumstances you are currently facing.
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this. He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. (Psalm 37:1-8)
This passage contains the framework for every believer to live a life of optimism rather than paralyzing pessimism in the life of every believer. Let’s look at two points from the passage above.
- In the Lord — If we are not solidly grounded in our exalted position in Christ, any perceived optimism is little more than wishful thinking. It is only when, by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, we are in the Lord that we have the power available to us that will enable us to rise above any situation we are facing. Whether it is a devastating medical diagnosis, difficulty at the office, discord in our marriage, or distractions in our school life, when we are in the Lord we have the connection to the deepest source of joy that will keep our glass half full.
- Trust . . . Delight . . . Commit . . . Be Still . . . Wait Patiently — After we understand the power of being in the Lord, we come to the divine imperatives of just how we are to live out our mystical union with Christ.
- Trust . . . in the Lord and not in your circumstances
- Delight . . . in the Lord and not in your temporal treasures
- Commit . . . to the Lord and not to the idols of your heart
- Be Still . . . before the Lord and not before your own wisdom
- Wait Patiently . . . for the Lord and do not look to your timetable
When we follow this framework in the strength of the Almighty, we will not fall into the pessimism that paralyzes those of little or no faith. These five actions steps of the Almighty transcend “the power of positive thinking” that is so popular today. Yes, it is good to think positive thoughts, but we must not stop there. We add the divine directives that God has provided in the Scriptures in order to rise above the challenges of daily living.
Because these actions steps are rooted in the Lord, we who have placed our trust in Jesus Christ’s atoning death on our behalf now possess the ability to face any challenge in life with omnipotent optimism. We know, as we go through whatever challenge or trial we are currently facing, that when we come out on the other side it will be for our good and God’s glory. Remember, “bad news” is never as bad when we view it through the promise of the Good News of the Gospel.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!