Optimism vs. Hopelessness!

Have you ever heard well-intended advice such as the following?

“Stop being so negative, _______ won’t happen.” Or, “Be hopeful and optimistic — don’t worry so much…”

Realistically, we all worry at some point in our daily life. No one is wired to always think “happy thoughts”. Life has many ups and downs and it is not always a smooth ride. Ultimately, it comes down to how pragmatically we handle the rules of life.

What are your thoughts about the following example of one woman’s belief regarding idealism and hopelessness?  Many who know her might say, “She is a worrier, but her character has traits of optimism.”  But, if you ask her about the degree her positivity [how far can she go on holding a positive attitude], her answer lives in the rhythm of reality. She says,

“I can’t pretend that everything always will be like the reflection of the sun’s rays in the drops of rain [rainbows and sunshine].” She continues, “I’ve been around the block a few times and I can’t promise you constant hopefulness in the face of difficult circumstances. Certainly, too much optimism can be harmful, so it is important to stay realistic. Finding the middle ground is essential.”

Putting aside her circumstances, this woman has cultivated a balanced attitude as she surveys her future.  She has found solid ground where she doesn’t have to pretend there is always sunshine, instead she stays true to herself and embraces the patches of dark clouds—disappointment and hopelessness….  In the scheme of things, that’s what life is.  It’s through those moments that her thoughts capture the essence of her beliefs and she goes on saying:

“I wish I could promise you that I would always be optimistic. 

I wish I could promise you that I would be always be hopeful; 

that I won’t face hard challenges, or physical pains. I wish I could….

But I cannot, for I know pain and disappointment are part of life. 

Yet, I can promise you this: My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the 

strength of my heart and my portion forever. [Psalm 73: 26] “

She continues: “I wish I could promise you that people won’t reject my love—the love that is connected to the truth of God’s love. Sadly, they will blindly deny it. As the Bible projects, ‘Having eyes, do they not see? And having ears, do they not hear? And do they not remember?’ [Mark 8: 18] Could it be that their love and desires are based on shifting conditions—like the ocean waves, tossing and turning, always changing? Yes! Yet, I’m definitely and absolutely sure of God’s promise that He will never leave me or forsake me.”

She is loudly affirming God’s sovereignty and faithfulness, which is the evidence of God’s presence in her life. Knowing the truth of heaven and seeing the painful reality of life on earth, she is encouraged to pray without ceasing for the salvation of others.

Come to think of it, her desire to live a righteous life and her abiding love for her people resemble the Prophet Jeremiah’s passion for the people of his time. He was known as the “weeping prophet” for his deep love and concern for his people. The heartbreak and hopelessness this mystery woman has for the people who she loves, is like the sorrow of Jeremiah. Their rejection of God, through the redemption of Jesus, breaks her heart.

In spite of the pains in her flesh, the hopeless moments, and the disappointments, her optimism is strongly anchored in Heavenly places, as Prophet Jeremiah and Prophet David remind us in the following verses: [Lamentation 3: 24] “ The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him. [Psalm 33: 18] “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love…’

The word of God strongly encourages us to stay hopeful, steadfast, and to trust in the Lord for the outcome in whatever the day may bring us…

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