Godly Hope vs. Positive Thinking

SCRIPTURE:  "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  (Romans 15:13) NIV
     Today’s scriptural focus does not read, ‘May the God of positive thinking fill you with all joy and peace….!”  Our Savior God urges us to hope in Him, because  any old “slap-happy Joe (or Jill”), can recommend mere positive thinking—not that there’s inherently anything wrong with thinking positively.  It trumps, I am sure, being a pessimist, whose “downward-spiral” thought patterns can be irrecoverable!  So what’s the difference between positive thinking and biblical hope?   The former is practiced by many natural men and women, that is, those who are still “in Adam,” who  major on “positive thinking” and its temporal benefits.  Their life’s theme song may very well be “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” that popular 80s song by Bobby McFerrin, or “Happy,” by Pharrell Williams. These songs, while catchy (and “cash cows,” I might add, for the artists who sang them) nonetheless commend a kind of shallow and misplaced optimism,” bereft of a solid foundation.   The soul that has a biblical understanding of faith places their hope or trust in God!  The spiritually unregenerate, as well as some Christians, are in effect--  and perhaps unintentionally-- trusting in “a lesser god,’ by  giving credence to a “false or flimsy optimism.”  Alternatively, the person who trusts or hopes in God, avails himself of reliance upon the great “I Am,” or YAHWEH!

    If you prefer the adjective of optimist, consider these  divine merits of biblical optimism, also known as godly hope, which anchors its trust in the character of God:   (1) We children of the King are called to wait patiently for our Father’s deliverances, for hope that is seen is not hope at all.  (Rom. 8:24); (2)  we’re to remember that He is working all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose;  (Romans 8:28), and finally,  (3) we’re to remain confident and hopeful in our God because He promises in 1 Peter 5:10 that our trials and tribulations  have a “shelf-life,” followed by an eternal glory He has foreordained for us and which He is using to mature us in Christ Jesus;  God’s glorious future purposes for us do require some present pain.   Given the extensive supreme benefits of Godly hope, mere positive thinking simply cannot compete!

PRAYER: O, Father, inasmuch as You’ve given us in Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith, a multitude of reasons to persevere in godly hope—what are we doing feeding on a secular concept as spiritually anemic as mere positive thinking?!  We’re called, and furthermore chosen, to feed on Your proven faithfulness every day –until faith becomes sight!  May we purpose to walk worthily of this Your high calling.  In Jesus’ great name we pray and give thanks.  Amen!
 
By Sis. Denise Diggs

3 Comments


Paula - January 21st, 2023 at 7:33am

Amen Sis. Denise, when all else fails, things look grim, hope in the Lord. Where else can we turn? Our hope and consolation can only be found in Him. Thank you.

Novella D Carpenter - January 23rd, 2023 at 10:55pm

Amen! He is our life-line.

McNeal & Debora - January 26th, 2023 at 9:02am

Our hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus' blood and righteousness... I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus' name! On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand! Amen!

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