Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Can A Christian Be A Pessimist?
A tendency to stress the negative or unfavorable or to take the gloomiest possible viewContarily, the same source defines "hope":
the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the bestSeems to me then that a pessimist is marked strongly by an absence of hope.
Most pessimists I know do not acknowledge their pessimism, rather they talk about "realism." That would be a fair assessment were it not for the source of Christian hope. Consider:
Ps 71:14-15 - But as for me, I will hope continually, and will praise Thee yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Thy righteousness, and of Thy salvation all day long; for I do not know the sum of them.The source of our hope is He who created and defined reality - it is He who can bend and shape reality to His will. I have no hope in this world, but I have a source of infinite hope. To express pessimism is to look somewhere else for hope.
Prov 23:17-18 - Do not let your heart envy sinners, but live in the fear of the LORD always. Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.
Eccl 9:4 - For whoever is joined with all the living, there is hope; surely a live dog is better than a dead lion.
Lam 3:21-23 - This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The LORD'S lovingkindnesss indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.
Zech 9:12 - Return to the stronghold, O prisoners who have the hope; this very day I am declaring that I will restore double to you.
Rom 5:1-2 - Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
II Th 2:16-17 - Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.
Regular readers know the bleakness of my life in recent weeks, but I hold to my Lord and therefore I HAVE HOPE. If my hopes are not realized in accordance with my expectations, still I will have hope for my hope is not in my expectations, but in my Lord.
I hoped for my father's recovery until his death. I now hope for his eternal joy and rest. I hope for my mother's recovery, and will do so until her death. I deny not the reality of her circumstances, but I KNOW I worship a God not restrained by those circumstances. A broken memory today can be a restored memory tomorrow.
I choose to see the areas where my mother has healed, not those where she has not, for her healing is not yet complete. I choose to expect the best for my mother, because I choose to worship my Lord.
Related Tags: expectations, hope, pessimism, choice, reliance