What does Christianity have to do with staying positive, you may ask. But there is lot that staying positive helps you achieve as a Christian. In fact, they are somewhat interrelated. With the degree of evil and depressing things happening all around the world today, the only One that could keep us looking up and being optimistic is Jesus.
Nothing drains a person as much as pessimism does: the constant fear of the worst happening and the over familiar feeling of “bad vibes”. It causes people to miss out on enjoying good moments and in the long run, could lead to all manner of mental health issues and health disorders. These things aren’t just thoughts that I have conjured in my head or findings straight from a medical magazine or research site. There is scriptural backing for this in Proverbs 17:22 which says “A happy heart is good medicine and a joyful mind causes healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones”. In a very unpleasant situation, bitterness would only make things much worse. The word of God encourages us to be merry, to stay positive. Sometimes, even the health challenges we go through are more as a result of our lack of positivity than an actual malfunction in the regular body system.
A major reason why we should stay positive is because Jesus tells us to. Long before we were born, He predicted that the troubles we would have in this life would be many. Yet, He assures us that despite those various and magnanimous challenges we may face and no matter how negative things get, we should be of good cheer because He has conquered the world (John 16:33). Jesus, in other words, told us not to let the problems of this world have any influence on our optimism. He tells us to remain happy and remain comforted in the fact that He has overcome the world and all its bad vibes. How does this victory concern you? Everyone who believes in Christ as Savior has automatically become a joint heir with Him (Romans 8:17). Which means He’d take up your challenges and His victory is your victory. Therefore, Jesus conquering the world means you have conquered the world. Why do you let the devil keep you in ignorance of the optimism you should hold on to in Christ Jesus?
Staying positive through the challenges of this world, tells God how much you trust Him. To those who do not understand, losing something precious to you and keeping high spirits even through the pain might seem like a crazy behavior. Nevertheless, God sees our hearts and He understands how much we ache inwardly and how much we hope for the best even out of that terrible situation. Trust God when He says “all things work together for your good” (Romans 8:28). When life’s issues overwhelm us, yet we keep an optimistic view because we know the God we serve, we tell God that we believe His “I know the plans and thoughts I have for you…” (Jeremiah 29:11).
I am not saying we should pretend to be okay even when we’re not. I am saying that accepting that things aren’t going smoothly yet choosing to stay hopeful and see the bright side of things is what pleases God. Moreover, seeing the bright side of things without being on the right side would only be a fruitless mission. A student being optimistic of getting a scholarship one day, who does not apply for that scholarship, no matter how smart or optimistic she is, she would not see results because she is not in the right position to receive it. She simply did not apply for it. So also, our optimism and hope for peace alas or a less turbulent life would never be actualized if we remain outside Christ. The pleasures given by life are always short-lived. Only Jesus gives eternal treasures. Jesus told us that in Him we will find peace. Peace from our challenges, peace from this chaotic world, peace from our many problems, peace from whatsoever could be putting us in a state of negativity.
As mentioned earlier, there are so many things that could make a person pessimistic so, optimism isn’t exactly the easiest thing to keep. How do we keep an optimistic view as Christians? The first is by diligent study of the Bible. Not reading like how you read a novel but actual study. The bible, though being the word of God, also contains the secrets to living a good life here on earth. The greatest form of encouragements we’d ever need is found in the bible. God reveals to us, His plans through His word. The solution to your frustration might just be in that chapter of the bible that you have never opened. The next is by prayer. Active communication with the giver of peace and joy will keep you saturated with peace and joy. Finally, shut out every form of negativity. Don’t be the first to tune in to bad news. Do not constantly go through news channels or newspapers looking for the next negative breaking news to report on the Whatsapp group-chat you’re on. What you feed your mind with is what it will grow on.
I pray that the Holy Spirit will help us live life with a more optimistic view and I pray that He grant us the grace and strength to stay positive even in the face of negativity. Amen!