Our Scriptures for today provide a sure foundation for optimism to the Believer. Believers should be the most optimistic people on the face of the earth . I’m not talking about an excessively or blindly optimistic avoidance of challenges. I’m talking about a deep confidence that nothing can happen that is beyond God’s All-Sufficiency. I’m talking about an optimism that is founded on God’s Divine Plan and His watchful care for our well-being.
Are you looking forward to the days ahead with confidence and optimism? Can you see beyond the political uncertainties in our nation and across the world, beyond the threats brought about by the Corona virus pandemic, and past the present economic challenges, and say in your heart, “it is well with my soul?” The Apostle Paul wrote in the Book of Philippians 4:13,” I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him Who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfil His purpose – I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace].” Paul was excited about the opportunities before him at that time. He was expressing a biblical optimism about the weeks and months ahead of him. The same enthusiasm and optimism which Paul expressed in his days, is what we are expected to express in these days. Our optimism should be different from that of the world because we have a sure and unshakable foundation which is rooted in Christ Jesus, our Lord. The hopes and expectations of the world stand on shaky ground, they are built on an unsure foundation.
The Bible often contrasts the hopes of the righteous with the hopes and expectations of the wicked. In Proverbs 10:28-29, the Bible tells us that,” the hope of the righteous will be gladness [or joyful], but the expectation of the wicked will perish. The Way of the Lord is strength for the upright, but destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.” We know that things happen according to God’s timing. Sometimes we see the wicked person “spreading like a green tree.” For a season his devices may prosper, but in the end, he perishes. His expectations fail. His optimism proves to be unfounded. Like Haman, he is ensnared in his own devices. Therefore, we are instructed in the Book of Psalms 37:7,” Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.” The Almighty God always has the Final Word.
God’s Word provides assurances for all who put their trust in Him. Our peace of mind is sustained when we rest in these truths. Philippians 4:13 assures us of the Strength needed for any situation God leads us into.” I …. [you can put your name there as well], can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” it is a reminder of the Source of my strength. It is only “through Christ” that the Apostle Paul’s statement is possible. We receive strength from our Lord Jesus as we abide in Him. Without Him we can do nothing. Jesus taught this dependence to His disciples in John 15:4-8 when He said,” Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I Am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”
It is a violation of the Apostle Paul’s intent, to employ the above verse as a means of using Christ to get your own way. The assumption behind the verse is submission to Christ as Lord.
Our Christian walk is not just a set of rules to live by. It is more than a moral code of ethics. It is the supernatural empowerment of the Holy Spirit for holy living and effective ministry. We are not in this by ourselves; and that makes all the difference.
- Father, as I have received Christ Jesus as my Lord, please help me to walk in union with Him, reflecting His character in the things I do and say. Amen.
- Father, please help me to live my entire life by faith in Jesus Christ and the victory that He won at the Cross of Calvary. Help me to trust You with the major issues in my life as well as the less significant ones. Amen.
- Father, please help me to rest in the Finished Work of the Cross, that I may live in total dependence on You. Amen.
Thank You Jesus!
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