Christians Are Optimists
The Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines optimism as - "an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome." Does this describe you? Are you inclined to be hopeful, upbeat, expectant, confident, cheerful, or positive? Or do you seem to always appear cynical, critical, negative, doubtful, discouraged, heavy-hearted, or depressed?
There are certain characteristics which define a Christian's walk. These traits definitely portray an individual who has the victory. Defeat is simply not a word that is used, and failure is never an option.
Let's look into God's Word today for a true concept of what a Child of God looks like.
2 Corinthians 5:6 says - "Therefore we are always confident..."
Notice that this Scripture said - "always confident." It's not an occasional or transitory stance but one that is uniform and constant. God desires that His people be "always" full of courage and hope, cheerful, and happy. He desires that they have an undoubted assurance which causes them to be patient and courageous in all trials and troubles.
1 Thessalonians 5:16 says - "Rejoice evermore."
How could any Christian possibly exult in the Lord at all times - "evermore" ? Simply because his joy is centered - not in things, people, or circumstances - but in the Lord Himself. God is his portion. Knowing this, his life becomes a continual feast. He knows no misery and woe.
3. Full Of Hope
Psalm 31:24 says - "Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD."
God cheers, comforts, and sustains His children whose hope and expectation is centered in Him. For all those who wholeheartedly trust in Him, He empowers them - by His grace and strength - to face whatever trials, opposition, difficulties, or dangers there might be. They need never grow faint or disheartened - knowing that their God will always come through for them. He promised that He would never leave nor forsake them (Hebrews 13:5).
4. Walking In Divine Health
Proverbs 17:22 says - "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."
God has provided medicine for His children's well-being. It's a heart that is filled with joy and gladness in serving Him. This exuberant joy keeps the body in good health.. It's a "broken spirit" or a melancholic disposition - characterized by grief, anxiety, fretfulness, or a bad temper - which ruins the health.
Psalm 118:24 says - "This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."
Each new day is a gracious opportunity from the Lord Jesus for the Child of God to triumph in his circumstances and situations. It is a designated appointment for the "Arm of the Lord" to be manifested in Great Glory on his behalf. Hence, he cannot help but be joyful, expectant, bright, and cheerful, knowing that the God - Whom he faithfully serves - promises to "always" cause him to "triumph in Christ"(2 Corinthians 2:14). He pictures each day as a gift from the Lord - a new and exciting experience - to be recorded in his life's book.
6. Conscious Of God's Presence
Psalm 121:1-2 says - "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, Which made heaven and earth."
The Child of God may be in the midst of great danger - with no help in sight and all means of support totally exhausted. Thoughts of confusion and anxiety may plague his mind. But, in a split-second, all despondency flees when he catches a glimpse of the Awesome Presence of the Lord - "from whence cometh his help." It is as if the the Holy Spirit pulls back the veil and reveals Jesus - his "very present help in trouble"(Psalm 46:1). Resultantly, all worry flees. He knows of a surety that "The Presence of the Lord is here" and he need not fear. His victory is assured.
Psalm 112:7-8 says - "He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies."
The enemies of the believers want to see them fail. But the Child of God - who is trusting in the Lord - need not be moved by losses and reverses caused by the wicked. Never should he fear "evil tidings" or bad news or be thrown into a state of confusion like other men.
"His heart is fixed."
"His heart is established."
What does that mean? It simply means that He knows Who is in control. His life is not his own. His "times" are in God's hands (Psalm 31:15). Therefore, his thoughts are composed, his will is resigned, and his feet are firmly planted on the Rock - the matchless Word of God. His entire being is propped up, supported, or sustained by the strength of the Almighty. He can look boldly into the faces of his enemies, knowing that God - his source of strength and power - will cause him - in due time - to trample them under his feet and overcome them.
Jeremiah 29:11 says - "For 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."
Psalm 37:37 says - "Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace."
God is constantly working "all things" together for the believer's "good" (Romans 8:28). Evil designs, schemes, and assignments from Satan are immediately turned around for his benefit. He is promised a bright future and a hope by his Heavenly Father. Though his troubles last a long time, he will see their end. As he seeks the Lord with all of his heart - success, prosperity, and the fulfillment of His awesome plan and "good word" will come the believer's way.
The world is called upon to observe, take notice of, keep an eye on, imitate, and admire the righteous man who faithfully serves and obeys God and is "upright" in his dealings with men. This man's "end" or future is promised peace, quietness, calmness, tranquility, happiness, and assurance.
Psalm 42:5 says - "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance."
The believer - whose total confidence is in the Lord - should never be agitated, troubled, anxious, bowed down, depressed, despondent, despairing, or sad. He need never be miserable, confused, or found stooping or sinking under the heavy burdens of life.
By "the help of His countenance" - the Awesome Presence - Seasonable and Suitable Intervention - Mighty Outstretched Right Hand - God will bring him complete or entire deliverance from all captivity.
Because of the Lord's merciful intervention on his behalf, the child of God cannot help but "praise Him."
Full of Hope,
Walking In Divine Health,
Conscious Of God's Presence,
and Praising -
These are the distinct traits of the believer whose total confidence is in the Lord.
There is no room for pessimism or negative attitudes in a Christian's life.
God has called us to be optimists. By the grace of God, we are a people who are inclined to "put the most favorable construction on actions and events" and "anticipate the best possible outcome" - and all because our trust and confidence is in the Lord our God Who holds our lives in His hands and knows what tomorrow will bring.
For too long the devil has robbed many Christians of their joy and filled their hearts with discouragement, depression, despair, and great sorrow.
It's time to shake off all "heavy bands" and lift up holy hands to the Lord.
It's time to get the shackles off our feet so we can dance.
As the Church, we need to let the devil know today that no matter what he throws our way - We're going to praise Jesus! We're just going to Praise Him!
May God Bless His Word.