The word optimism is a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome. Another definition is the belief that good ultimately predominates over evil in the world.

We need optimism in our lives for successful lives. When we fear to attempt things in life, we may be afraid of failure. If we are optimistic, we won't be afraid to attempt. Optimism helps us look on the sunny side of life. There is a saying which bears repeating; If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

We need to be optimistic that people can change. Our outlook upon others in our society needs to be like that of Christ's. The following scripture shows us how we should act toward those who might live in different circumstances. Matthew 9:10 " Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. "

We read in Matthew 10:16," Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves." We as Christians are among those in the world who will make it difficult for us. We need to study diligently the word of God.

When we purchase something that has instructions, I'm always telling my husband to be sure and read the instructions. How much more important it is to read the instructions in the Bible.

II Timothy 3:16," All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." II Timothy 3:16

We are told there is good and bad in the church since it is comprised of people. The Hebrew word for tares is equivalent to the Arabic zuwan. It most resembles wheat, but it's meaning is similar to degenerated wheat, known as chicken food. When harvest is approaching, it is carefully weeded out from among the wheat.

We read in Matthew 13:28-30 ,"The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them (the tares) up?’ But he said, 'No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, 'First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.'"

When we associate ourselves with others who are optimistic, we are apt to be optimistic also. When we are laid up sick in bed, would we want someone to visit us who is optimistic or pessimistic? I know, I am happier when an optimistic person visits me. We read in I Corinthians 5:6," Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? "

We are familiar with Abraham Lincoln. Though he had periods of depression, he was an optimist. He taught himself to read, had numerous failures but became United States President in 1860. He was persistent. A pessimist won't continue to try.

Job is an excellent example of an optimistic person. He had lost all he had; his children, his health, his finances, the encouragement of his wife, and his friends' good advice. He found the strength to endure his hardships.

We read in Job 6:8-9," Oh, that I might have my request, That God would grant me the one thing I long for! That it would please God to crush me, That he would loose His hand and cut me off. " His perspective was dimmed for a brief time. His wife told him to curse God and die. His friends gave him bad advice. Read in Job 13:15," Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him."

Found in III John 2," Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. "

We as Christians, are the salt of the earth. Christians should be the happiest people in the world. We read in Matthew 5:13." You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men."

I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left.
Luke 17:34(NKJV)

I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil one.
John 17:15(NKJV)

But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
Hebrews 11:6(NKJV)

For if we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven
2 Corinthians 5:1-2(NKJV)

There are many things happening all around us to cause pessimism; wars, conflicts, dishonesty etc, but the person who is a Christian, above all people, has a reason for optimism in this world. A Christian needs to be optimistic knowing all that God has prepared for those found faithful unto death.

Discussion and study questions:
(1) What form of an outlook on life does optimism give us?
(2) Why should Christians be optimistic?

Copyright 2007 Linda Lawrence