How would we define optimism, and spiritual optimism—of the Christian variety—at that? Obviously, it’s a hope in Christ made tangible by our outward, observable actions. It’s not clinging, for any great time period, to spiritual pessimism, which would be a resigned hopelessness.
When my world is beyond hope,
And breaks do two strands of a cord,
Satan, you cannot kill my ‘optimism’,
Because my ‘optimism’ is in the Lord.
We all get down, and depression or anxiety is no sign of a ‘weak’ Christian. Indeed, we are all afflicted by various different “thorns of the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7). If the Apostle Paul had one it would not be unusual if we, too, were burdened with this “messenger of Satan,” that tempts us to wallow.
But if we can call a hope beyond the satisfaction of the flesh, spiritual optimism, then perhaps we have a way of overcoming the worst evil can throw at us.
This is not only possible, but available, in and through salvation upon Jesus’ name—an agreement to live a saved life.
How do we describe this? That is a mystery that only faith can discern. All we need to know is the availability of it—because of our spiritual optimism. Then we search and we keep on searching until we find it.
At the very least this saving reality is bound by the knowledge that we are special creations, each and every one; with blessed bodies, minds and souls.
Simply, we have the capacity for optimism—the ability to look on the bright side, because of who we are in Christ Jesus.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.