The following column is an opinion piece and reflects the views of only the author and not those of The Georgia Virtue.
By: Dr. William F. Holland Jr., minister, chaplain, and author of the column series ‘Living on Purpose’. You can read more about the Christian life and see other works by Dr. Holland at billyhollandministries.com.
I watch my little grandson who is almost 3-years-old, and it’s amazing how fast he is learning about life. He’s happy when he has his way, but when he’s told no or stop, he bows his head and sticks out his lower lip. How many of us are like this? Ha! All of us! I often think about the many situations and experiences this little fellow will face in his journey and how he will eventually learn there is more to life than watching cartoons and playing with toys. There will be times when he will need an anchor for his soul like all of us and I pray His hope will be in Christ. The Bible declares Jesus is the way the truth and the life but He never promised this would be a perfect world. First Corinthians 13:11 says, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became an adult, I put away childish things.” The context reveals that in this temporary life it’s difficult to understand the spiritual realm but one day we will see God face to face and know as we are known.
God’s plan is for all of us is to not only grow up physically but to mature emotionally and spiritually in Him. I’ve been through some hard times but have also enjoyed many blessings and I’ve learned that we can either be bitter or better. What I mean is that within our ups and downs we always have the choice to be negative and give up, or we can be positive and filled with faith even when our sky is dark and dreary. Optimism is contagious and is a personal decision to embrace hope and to reject all that teaches otherwise. No one ever damaged their eyesight looking on the bright side. When we discover that God can be the center of all we are and everything we do, we can live in the joy and peace that passes all understanding. Choosing to see our glass half full instead of half empty helps us to stand boldly with an unwavering expectation that our loving God is working behind the scenes in every situation for our good. Positive thinking is choosing to live above negativity and despair. This confidence includes knowing the Lord loves us and is always watching over us.
Like most of you, I desire to be informed about what is going on in the world. I listen to many sources of news and then I’m faced with trying to sort out what is true from opinions and speculation. When it comes to theology and spiritual prophecy, there is much disagreement there as well. Some say the future is going to get better and evil will be exposed, while others believe the world will continue growing worse until Christ returns. Whatever your convictions and views, I just want to encourage you today and remind you that no matter what happens from here forward, God is never surprised or worried. The Almighty’s desires will be fulfilled exactly as He planned and nothing can change them. Yes, there is an enemy that can attack us with anxiety and fear, but Deuteronomy 20:3-4 gives us this promise, “Let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified for the Lord your God is He that goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.” Exodus 14:14 also declares that He will fight for us and protect us. When we know that it’s impossible for God to fail, we are filled with trust and security.
Followers of Christ are not optimistic because they trust in man’s abilities to solve the world’s problems, or hope that somehow everything is going to turn out alright. We are optimistic simply because we believe that God is who He says He is. When we observe circumstances without including God we base our thoughts on fear which is pessimistic. However, true faith is seeing circumstances through the eyes of God. My contribution is to help edify the body of Christ and I invite you to visit my website where you will find Christian articles, songs, and videos to encourage, inspire and motivate your mind and spirit. I am blessed by all of you who read this column and stirred by your commitment to God, your willingness to serve, and your excitement to follow Him.