Can Optimism and Pessimism Exist within the Same Mind?

Do you feel torn by the realities of our world? On the one hand, we serve a Mighty God who is sovereignly in control of everything. Yet, we also view a world clearly running amok and without hope. Can the two seemingly opposite outlooks coexist within the mind of believers or nonbelievers?

Without making it a psychological, or even a theological issue, I believe they can, so let me explain.

I am supremely optimistic regarding the truth of God’s Word and His faithfulness to be who He says He is and do what He says He will do. If God’s Word says it, that settles it! Why? Because He is wholly sovereign, wholly righteous, and wholly capable. But let’s drill down.

God’s Word tells us that sin negatively affects us individually, communally and globally. For example, if I choose to sin, there are consequences. Galatians 6:7-8 is clear about that! God is not caught off-guard by our sin, so to allow it to slide by unnoticed. Communally (whether family, friends, churches, nations, etc), sin affects the entire community. Sins of kids impact parents, sins of parents impact kids, a congregation is impacted by sin within the camp, etc. On a global scale, we all pay the price for anti-Biblical ideologies that seem to be taking over everywhere.

So, while I am pessimistic a sin-sick world could be saved by a new prophet, priest, king or government, I am optimistic that God is still sovereign, and that if we live out our faith in every area of life, the sowing and reaping principles will take effect positively as well as negatively!

To understand that more clearly, we simply need to understand that this world is not our home (Hebrews 13:14 NLT), but we are ambassadors of Christ here (2 Corinthians 5:20). To be an ambassador means to be at the service of the one who sent you. We are sent by God to occupy this earthly territory until He comes to take us to our heavenly home. Therefore, we occupy (do business) until He comes (Luke 19:13).

True, ultimately Bible prophecy will be fulfilled. Earth as we know it will enter a time of absolute godlessness. Take heart believers…we will be out of here! But until Jesus comes, it should be our ambition to live out our optimistic, Godly principles and values in EVERY area of life, even if it means engaging in areas most prone to pessimism!

That is what it is like to live in the last days, and if we think things are ungodly now, we haven’t seen anything yet! But we won’t stop occupying, we won’t stop fighting and we won’t give up our God-given responsibilities until Jesus comes. So, in whatever ways you are being challenged toward the pessimistic side of the equation, remember it is real, but you can employ the optimism that comes only through a holy, righteous God who loves you supremely!

Go occupy today!

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