I've known Christians who insist on hanging on to their negative outlook on life. I've done it myself—a lot. Here's what I've discovered. In order to be a “good” pessimist, you have to believe that God's promises aren't really true. God promises for his people power and goodness and victory, and if you believe that, it's impossible to have a negative outlook on life. Someone once said that Christianity is a system of radical optimism.

Christ-followers radically believe that the Word of God is true, that the claims of Christ are true, that the promises therein are true and they act accordingly. If you are a Spirit-filled believer who is walking faithfully with Christ you cannot help but be an optimist. The Bible is full of reasons why Christ-followers have every cause to be optimistic. There is one verse that conveys a promise you can build your life upon. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

God really does cause all things to work together for good. This means that there are no meaningless events in your life. God can give meaning to whatever happens—good meaning. All things, God said. All things he will work together for good. Whose good? Your good. His glory, your good—all things. Whatever has happened to you, whatever you have experienced or whatever you may be experiencing right now, it is important for you to know that it isn't final. You don't have to pretend it's enjoyable when it isn't. But you can be sure of this. If you are serious about your relationship with God, a setback is nothing more than a setup to something even greater from God. You may not be able to see it now, and you may feel like life has dealt you a rotten hand. But it's not over. God causes all things to work together for good.

There is no such thing as a meaningless life. God has a purpose for you, a plan for you. It is uplifting and empowering. It involves you being a force for good in this world. There are things that will happen in your life that you don't fully understand, things that you certainly would not have chosen for yourself. And you can spend your time asking, “Why me?” You can allow each negative experience to turn you bitter and angry and resentful. Or you can say, “God, I trust you to take this situation and turn it into something good.” Speaking from experience, I can tell you that he will—every time. When you surrender your life to living out God's purpose, he can take any event and turn it into something good. There is no situation that God's power cannot redeem. Therefore, you have a reason to be optimistic. God is making all things work together for good, because he is a good God. Say today with assurance, “Because God is in my life, because I am surrendered to his will, I know that he can use this situation to make me better for my good and his glory.


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