Expect the best

Good morning everyone,
 
Our theme for this month: “How to inhabit time”
 
Our Bible verse for today: “For I know the plans I have for you – this is the Lord’s declaration – plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (CSB)
 
Our thought for today: “Expect the best”
 
Resolve to expect the best. If you believe that Jeremiah 29:11 is true and that God really does desire good for you, then you should expect good things to happen.
 
For most of human history there’s been an ongoing debate regarding whether it’s better to live as an optimist or a pessimist. One the one hand, the argument in favor of pessimism says that if you’re always optimistic you’re guaranteed of being disappointed. The pessimistic perspective is that life is hard, and then you die. If you’re always expecting the best then you’re simply setting yourself up for sorrow and discouragement. Therefore, the argument goes, it’s better and makes more sense to be pessimistic – expect the worst, and when the bad stuff does happen you won’t be surprised by it and you won’t be disappointed. And if, on those rare occasions when something good does happen, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
 
But there are multiple problems with that thinking. For one thing, pessimism makes people sour and disagreeable. Therefore, it can be hard to be around a pessimist for very long. Donnie Downer and Debbie the Depressor are just hard people to be with. Also, a basic law of human nature is that we tend to attract to ourselves the things we expect. Bad things tend to happen to pessimists because they expect bad things to happen to them.
 
But also, pessimism is unbiblical. This is the primary and most important argument in favor of optimism. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the gospel of hope. The promises of God are good and they bring joy. The New Testament is the most positive, affirming, hope-inspiring book that has ever existed. An excellent example of that is Paul’s letter to the Philippians. It’s known as “The Epistle (the letter) of Joy”. It’s all about the joy and hope we find in daily life because of our faith in Jesus Christ. The New Testament is unapologetically optimistic. So, Christians should be positive and optimistic too.
 
I encourage you to resolve to be an optimist. Being optimistic is Biblical. And you will also tend to attract good and pleasant things to yourself by being optimistic because as I said, it’s a basic law of human nature that we attract to ourselves the things we expect to happen.
 
Let me also say that being optimistic is not being naïve. We can be realistic about the world we live in and still have hope and joy. We can acknowledge and deal with the real problems all around us, but still communicate hope and joy to others as we make our way through this troubled world. If there’s one thing people in this world need today it’s hope, joy, and optimism.
 
Pessimism gives us a dark perspective on life. What a waste. Optimism is the better way. I encourage you to be optimistic!
 
God bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2023 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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