Sunday, August 03, 2008

Biblical optimism

When I get discouraged about the future, or about waiting on God's timing, I try to imagine myself as the Proverbs 31 woman, "laughing at the future." Truth is, I fall far from that mark. You could say I'm more like Sarah, Abraham's wife, laughing when she was told she would have a child: "Yes, Lord, you gave me that promise, but yeah, right." Which I'm embarrassed to say is my faith attitude a lot of the time. What can I say? Faith is not my spiritual gift. When God told her she would finally have a child of her own, at 90 years old, she laughed; not so much from a lack of faith in what God could do, but from doubt about what he could do through her.

What we as believers (I'm talking to myself here) have to remember is that our faith walk is a positive one; one that "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things." For "every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (James 1) We also know from reading Romans that "He works all things together for good to those who love God."

These kinds of verses should make us walk out our faith (the "unseen"), not in uncertainty, or doubt, or fear, but in positive, confident steps, a type of "biblical optimism" if you will. That is true "stepping out in faith." I am not a natural optimist. I prefer to say, "realist", so to work at stepping out in faith with the positive assurance that He is working it out for good, is the only way for me to walk in a situation that I cannot control, manage, or see. 

10 comments:

Trish D said...

Oh, how I needed to read these words this morning! Our family is looking at a MAJOR move, and I must constantly remind myself to just turn it over in prayer and not offer God my advice :) Thanks for sharing...

Rain said...

Well said. I've been mulling this 'faith' thing over a lot lately. You really hit it on the head. I have been learning to take my fears and doubts and turn them into TRUST of HIM not circumstances while I wait and do the next thing.

Blessings, Rain

Anonymous said...

Hang in there Andrea! It will all work out- waiting IS hard though. Hope you all are well!
Love,
Ami

L.L. Barkat said...

Oh, one of my favorite biblical images. The woman, wise and trusting, laughing at the future.

Susan L said...

This is good, Andrea. I, too, have some seismic shifts-- very difficult ones-- about to happen in my life, and I'm really trying to set my heart and mind on the Lord, recalling what He has done in the past (like David does in the Psalms), to remind me that I can trust Him in the future. I guess the only kind of realist that is also automatically an optimist is one whose realism is based on what God promises. :-)

Thanks for always pointing in His direction!

Blessings to you as you walk through this...

Susan

Anonymous said...

This is why I *treasure* the doctrinal issue of God's sovreignty. It is HUGE to me to know that God is completely in control, although we are to exercise wisdom. It has been interesting to see some of the women of faith in other times (early America) that trusted in "Providence". And they faced very real, life and death issues! Warmly, Mary Brooke

Elise said...

I *hear* the underlying subject in your words... I am praying with you and for you for this to come to pass. And that you can laugh at the days to come!

The older I get (!), the more I try to walk through these hardships well- so that when I come through it, I don't have to look back and see worry and stress and the strain those two things put on my family... it's still being learned, but I am a human, after all... :)

Rose said...

Whenever I find myself struggling with doubt, I always remind myself that *nothing* is too hard for God. There are lots of things that are too hard for us; it's easy to forget this simple but liberating truth. Keep your chin up. :)

Kathryn said...

Beautifully expressed. Hebrews 11, the Hall of Faith, has become my life "chapter"!

Blessings ...

Janalee said...

Thanks for always having uplifting posts, I needed to read that.