by Paula Harrington
I recently asked some friends who they thought was the most optimistic person in the Bible. They replied with some of the standouts. Folks like Caleb, Steven, Barnabas, Abraham, Mary the mother of Jesus, Paul and Job were mentioned. What wonderful examples of faith and positive attitudes in times of troubles. However, I’d like to invite you to think of others in the Bible who had positive attitudes.
The people in Noah’s time were certain the flood wasn’t coming (Luke 17:27). They continued in their sins despite Noah’s preaching and were certain that he was mistaken. One could wonder how many days of rain it took before their optimism began to waver.
The workers at the tower of Babel were confident that they were going to build a tower that reached to Heaven (Genesis 11). How assured they were of their goal and cheerful that they were going to make a name for themselves.
Did the folks in Jericho laugh as the Israelites marched around their fortified city (Joshua 6)? The city dwellers thought they were safe and secure while the marchers wasted their time. Those walls were sturdy. They would never fall.
Those at Calvary were convinced that the deceiver would not return. They even went as far as to secure the tomb lest his disciples steal his body and start a rumor (Matthew 27:63). They were sure that this would be the end of the one called Christ.
Too many times we suffer from a misguided optimism. We see nothing wrong with flirting with the world, neglecting Scripture, and trying to fool God. We’re positive that we can keep our sins hidden. Completely self-assured, we continue in our lifestyle thinking that we are on the way to Heaven.
A Christian’s hope must originate at the cross. Only there will we find true optimism; powerful enough to see us through the struggles and heartaches of this life and prepare us for that great day when we will come face to face with Jesus.
This week, put your positive attitude into action. Let it strengthen you during the bad times and sustain you during the good. And more than that, let it be an instrument in leading others to Christ.

4 Replies to “Optimism”

  1. Teaching my college girls about something like this next semester. We’ll be talking about naively assuming that good things will happen without actually working to make them happen. So many times we just believe that we’ll end up closer to God or in a healthy marriage or with God-fearing kids, but we don’t do anything to get there. I think this is a kind of “misguided optimism” as well.

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