Posts Tagged ‘optimism’

Wait and See

October 4th, 2017

Patience Is the Posture of Waiting With Hope and Trust.

 “By your patience, possess your souls.” Luke 21:19 NKJV.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “Wait and See.”

Waiting is not my favorite pastime. I guess I always wanted the benefit of knowing the outcome of things. Many times in my youth, my Mom wisely advised me to, “just wait and see.” With the value of history and hindsight, she understood a simple principle that I did not. There are times when you must just be patient enough to wait and see. Urgently, we think we need to see, but God knows we need to wait and see. Paul explained this interim time in these words, “Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now.” 1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT.

In life, you will experience unforeseen challenges at inconvenient times. Don’t project today’s crisis onto your future. Sometimes you must be willing to wait and see. Successfully navigating such moments requires Godly optimism, with large amounts of patience. Waiting is never our preferred option. None of us enjoy waiting. Without perspective, waiting is challenging and stressful. Impatience is a common emotion in such moments.

There are times when the past as well as the present are less than clearly understood. So why then are we surprised when the future seems a bit obscure? Our impatience produces anxiety about things unforeseen. Life is a tension between what is and what yet will be. As I see it, the problem is that our knowledge is incomplete and our impatience is unsettling. While describing this tension, Paul directed us to hope. “Now we see things imperfectly, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely.” 1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT.

With God’s Word in your thoughts and hope in your heart, you can wait with anticipation and patience. Without hope, dread and anxiety will color your concerns for the unknown future. The Bible offers this insight, “Hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” Romans 8:24-25 NIV. Patience is a virtue. Hope is the foundation upon which patience is developed. In an earlier chapter, Paul wrote of, “this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:2 NKJV. Patience is the posture of waiting in hope and trust.

Waiting can and should be used profitably, not squandered in wasted worry. Waiting on God with expectation evidences a confidence so strong in God, and His nature, and Word, that your faith continues to grow even with every apparent delay. Forewarning His disciples of the mistreatment and opposition they would face, Jesus concluded with this encouraging instruction, “By your patience, possess your souls.” Luke 21:19 NKJV. Patience is evidenced by living today with optimism for tomorrow.

But sometimes, you may just feel too weak and weary to struggle on. The Bible has a faith-building word for you. “God gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31 NIV. Meanwhile, I will stand alongside the Psalmist. “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His Word, I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord, more than those who watch for the morning.” Psalm 130:5 NKJV.

Today, I pray for you to choose patience and embrace His peace.


Christian Communications 2017

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Hope and Optimism

January 6th, 2017

You crown the year with Your goodness; Your paths drip with abundance.” Psalm 65:11

Optimism is the language of hope.

My thoughts and comments today are about “hope and optimism.”

God’s Word holds so much promise for this time of year. Optimism hears God’s whisper in your heart that your past need be no predictor of your future. Optimism is the language of hope. Let the New Year reflect your hope, not your tears. Tears express yesterday’s disappointment; hope affirms the promises and providence God holds for your future.

My thoughts have been drawn to the Psalmist David’s declaration of hope, “You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance . . the pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered with grain; they shout for joy, they also sing.” Read Psalm 65:9-13 NKJV. Take a moment and re-read those verses, deliberately and thoughtfully. A more contemporary translation reads, “What a rich harvest your goodness provides! Wherever you go there is plenty.” Psalm 65:11 TEV.

Pause and reflect over what King David wrote. He joins the past, present, and future and rejoices that amid all, God is generously benevolent. I love David’s poetic imagery. The year – every single day of it – is crowned, adorned with the faithfulness and goodness of God. Prophetically, David declares that his and your journey throughout the year, “overflows with abundance.” David further describes God as the One, “Bless the Lord, o my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord o my soul and forget not all of His benefits . . Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things.” Read Psalm 103:1-5 NKJV. Out of His goodness, God, “heals . . forgives . . redeems . . crowns . . satisfies.” There is consistency in the nature and character of God.

Deliberation at the close of a year and the fresh beginnings of a new year can be beneficial when appraising the recent past; a lovely place to visit, not a place to dwell. Whatever your previous experience, God has even better things ahead for you. Embracing and rejoicing in God’s provision is your righteous response to God’s goodness. David had no doubts; the goodness of God was assured and unchanging. “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6 NLT.

A New Year can be, and should be, a freshly hopeful season for you. But a change of calendar alone is inadequate to accomplish that. Whatever your circumstances, I do know that all things didn’t always go the way you planned last year. They never do. Expectations are rarely as you hope. Relationships seldom endure as you would like. Explanations rarely come when you expect. But God will be as He has promised to be. Your past is settled in grace; the present is safely in His care; your future is secure in His providence and, “crowned with goodness.”         

Praying for a Blessed and Graced New Year for you.

Christian Communications 2016

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Disappointments and Doorways

June 23rd, 2016

Disappointment can be a doorway to your greatest opportunity.

 “Moses my servant is dead. Now arise and go over this Jordan.” Joshua 1:1 NKJV.

My thoughts and comments today are about disappointments and doorways.”

Difficulties and disappointments will come. When they do it is difficult to stop staring at the past, to resist the present reality, and not to feel stuck where you are. It is difficult but it is not impossible. Optimism is the best cure. There really is no other good option to moving past the past. In the purposes of God, your focus is forward and optimism is your attitude.

Moses died, 120 years old and, “his eye was not dim nor his natural force abated.” Note Deuteronomy 34. The page of history is turned and a new and grander chapter begun. In God, every ending births a new and greater beginning. Moses is dead; promises remain and victories await. Joshua 1:1-11 NKJV.

You have to deal with present reality to embrace future possibilities. Moses’ death must have been Joshua’s biggest disappointment. He personally and Israel nationally lost a bold and brilliant leader; the only leader they had known. “Moses my servant is dead; now arise.” Moses is dead. Joshua must carry on. Israel stands at a pivotal national moment – on the brink of its destiny and the fullness of God’s promises.

Your biggest disappointment can be a doorway to your greatest opportunity. It was for Joshua and Israel. “Moses my servant is dead; now arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them.” Joshua 1:2 NIV. Several million people were waiting to know from Joshua what was next. They couldn’t go back where they were; they couldn’t stay where they are; they had to press onward. The realities were these. Before them was an uncrossable Jordan at flood tide. Across Jordan was Jericho, the most fortified city guarding the entry to Canaan. Beyond Jericho were scores of other fortified cities, war-hardened armies, and men of such stature as to be seen as giants. They had been here before and a generation died because of their unbelief. Numbers 13:31-33 and 32:9-12 NKJV.

We know the story and the dangers faced and victories achieved. Let’s consider the process and apply it to your situation. God always rests the future on His promises in the past. God reminds Joshua of the renewed promises. “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.” Joshua 1:3-4 NKJV. God assures Joshua of His continuing presence. “As I was with Moses, so shall I be with you. I will never fail you nor forsake you. Be strong and of a good courage.” Joshua 1:5-7 NKJV. Three times God called Joshua to strength and courage. The issue is settled. “If God is for us, who can be against us?“ Romans 8:31 NIV.

God prepared Joshua to lead Israel with confidence; He will do the same for you in your difficult and uncertain moments. “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 NKJV. The best is yet to come. This passage provides three things that are essential, not optional. (1) Speak the Word of God faithfully. (2) Dwell on God’s Word continually. (3) Live according to God’s Word consistently. “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9 NKJV. Jesus promised, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mathew28:20 NIV.

Today, I pray for you that you refuse to settle for anything less than God’s highest and best.

Christian Communications 2016 and

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Godly Optimism

August 7th, 2013

“The plans I have for you [are] for good . . to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

Optimism about the future is empty unless God is included there.

My thoughts and comments today are about “Godly optimism.”

In one’s life, a new season is exciting. You sense there is more, more ahead for you. Your heart and spirit is newly exhilarated. You know God is up to something, and it is going to be good. God, who is eternal, spans all of time. His plan encompasses what has already happened, what you are currently experiencing, and all that He has planned for your good. Read Romans 8:28-29. Nothing that has happened or is happening now will be wasted in God’s economy. In grace, God recycles anything that touches your life into something of blessing.

I recall a time when I began to feel God stirring in my heart. Gradually, a simple understanding clarified His instruction, “Purposefully position yourself, facing the future.” Your future is not foreboding; in God’s providence, your future is full of good things. “Surely God is good . . to those who are pure in heart.” Psalm 73:1 NIV. There was a corner to turn; a new season was ahead. Meanwhile, those words began to focus my plans and direct my efforts, motivating me to invest every effort and energy with expectation. See Philippians 3:13 NLT. Your future deserves priority and attention.

Really, that’s how life should be lived all the time, isn’t it? Optimism about the future is empty unless God is included there. “The plans I have for you [are] for good . . to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NLT. Some are content to mark time, reliving their past, merely existing while overlooking a future with unlimited possibilities. “Purposefully positioning yourself, facing the future,” encourages an investment of your best effort, directs your full energies, and creates expectation. Life is different when you live with Godly optimism. See James 1:17-18NIV.

Live as Jesus lived, with an unwavering conviction, “I must be about My Father’s business.” Luke 2:49. That’s where joy, peace, fulfillment, and confidence are found. It isn’t about knowing everything the future holds; that is neither likely nor realistic. Your future is safe in God’s hand and plans. Expect good from His hands and not harm. Living fully in the moment is a posture of expectation. “Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, Who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:2-5 NIV.

You are not meant to worry about the future or be so preoccupied with what is yet unseen and unknown that you miss opportunities today. Today is ultimately about preparing yourself to fully inherit God’s future and intent for you. God wants to include you in His grand adventure. “My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved . . Trust in Him at all times.” Psalm 62:5-8 NKJV.

It is easy to miss some measure of your future when you are a captive of the past or captivated in the moment. In God, all that has gone before is prelude for what is yet to be. Appreciate your history; enjoy every minute of this moment; but your future in view. Tomorrow, not yesterday, is where your greatest accomplishments and satisfaction still await.

My prayer for you this day is: have assurance of what God holds in His heart for you.

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Invigorating People

January 28th, 2013

Joy is an emotional energy that elevates positive emotions in others.

“In Your presence is fullness of joy.” Psalm 16:11 NKJV.

People enjoy being around others whose joy is contagious, people who are invigorating. An invigorating person is optimistic, expecting good things. They enjoy the company of others and reciprocate with kindness and appreciation. They are adventurous, exploring and discovering, and joyfully sharing what they find. They are happily inclusive. My wife is one of those; a plaque given her by a friend describes her and others like her, “Be careful or she will include you in her plans.”

Invigorating people do not live in the past. They have learned that yesterdays are unchangeable and the future is unknowable, so they enjoy the moment. Invigorating people carry only the best out of yesterdays, not forecasting trouble for tomorrow, but appreciating every enjoyment today allows them. Invigorating people anticipate God’s goodness; like David their expectation is, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6 NKJV.

Joy is an emotional energy that elevates positive emotions in everyone around you. Joy is not a mystical feeling of good will. Enduring joy is only found in right relationship with God. “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures for ever more.” Psalm 16:11 NKJV. Some people are just not fun to be around. They don’t know how to have fun, but they sure know how to stop it. I remember my Dad saying, “Everyone has the ability to make others happy, some when they come and others when they go.” You can choose which one you wish to be. I want to be a person others are glad to see come.

A person’s attitudes and assumptions can deplete you, draining optimism and discouraging aspirations. Worse than not invigorating you, they drain energy from you. They leave you a little less, not more, after their company. Choose people whose company and conversation replenish you. Speaking with them or being around them, or just recalling fond memories with them, can boost your spirits and rekindle your joy.

The best way to find such friends is to be the kind of friend that you want to have. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,”is Godly advice. Some days, life can take so much out of a person; be someone who replenishes life in others. Lift the spirits of people around you. People who lift yours will be drawn to you. Never expect others to give more than you give; it just doesn’t happen. Expend yourself for others and you will find how much others extend themselves to you.

Jesus accompanied two disciples to Emmaus. Afterward, they realized, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us and opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32 NIV. That describes Jesus well, and the invigorating people who know Him. Be more like Jesus. Let the Word of God – its truth and your joy – invigorate you and encourage others. See 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 NIV. Leave others with burning hearts, rather than heartburn.

My prayer for you today is: be invigorated by Jesus, refreshing others around you.

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