The Strengthfinders assessment lists “positivity” as one of the top 5 ways that I’m hardwired. When I read their detailed description, it did sound like me, and most everyone who knows me remarks about being upbeat and optimistic; however, I don’t think I’m an optimist by nature. In fact, as I think about my childhood, I think I was born tempermentally pessimistic.
It’s the Gospel of Jesus that makes me an optimist.
When I became serious about being a Christian at age 14, my outlook drastically changed. A couple decades ago I became aware that folks in my tribe (Nazarene) were using a phrase “the optimism of grace.” I think this is a good phrase.
Here are some things that make me optimistic:
Nothing we do for the Lord is in vain.
The Spirit of Jesus is loose in the world, and you can’t stop Him.
The Creator God is about restoration, redemption, healing what is broken.
God is present, right here with me.
The Creator of the world believes mercy triumphs over judgment.
Jesus came to set the captives free.
God’s Spirit develops in us love joy peace patience kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness and self-control.
The Gospel brings us hope, joy, laughter, deep heart contentment, and a meaningful purpose in life.
God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
God isn’t willing that any should perish but that all might come to repentance and new life.
The earth is full of Yahweh’s glory, He is everywhere, and nothing is more powerful than Him.
So I don’t believe in handwringing, woe-is-me religion. Rather than seeing every day as “a losing battle against sin” (an awful phrase I read somewhere recently), I see it as another day the mustard-seed Kingdom has grown yet larger. And that makes me an optimist.