You know who might not be the best candidate for spreading the Good News? Someone who is perpetually expecting bad news. I’ve been there. I prefer to call myself a realist, but the truth is that I am often cynical, expecting the worst from people and situations. I let my past hurts and disappointments color the way I see the things around me.
Most recently, as I prepared for the end of my maternity leave, I found myself stressing out over all of the unknowns and coming to the worst possible conclusions: We aren’t going to be able to find a good daycare. He’s not going to take his bottle. There’s no way we are going to pay off all of these medical bills.
A few days ago, while I was in the middle of one of my pessimistic breakdowns, God revealed something to me:
Pessimism is viewing the world through our own scars instead of His scars.
My struggles with depression and anxiety during my first postpartum journey were affecting the way I was viewing my second one. Instead of remembering that God provided for all of my concerns and anxieties in that season, I was spending my time reliving them.
God’s gentle nudge reminded me that I needed to be looking at things through the lens of Jesus. If He was willing to take my sins to the cross, what would He not do for me? His scars were His promise that He would fight my battles, that no weapon against me would prosper, that He would go before and behind me, and that He would give me the desires of my heart.
Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.
– Proverbs 4:23 (GNT)
Anxiety, anger, depression, and bitterness are not the emotions He wants us to dwell in because they all lead to pessimism or a loss of hope.
Peace and joy come from repenting, or changing our hearts and minds, and returning to God’s view. We can repent from chronic negativity by turning away from our own scars and focusing on His and the promises that lie beneath them. The best way to do that is to spend time in His Word every day, meditating on scripture. Spending that intimate time with Jesus is the most effective way to transform our perspective.
So if you have been hurt by a person or situation and find yourself lacking in hope, remember that we serve the God of hope!
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him”
– Romans 15:13
6 thoughts on “The Pessimistic Christian”
Thanks for the reminder! I would describe myself as an optimist, but as I was reading this, I realized I can be very pessimistic as well. You offer the greatest solution–focus on the Lord. I need to remember that!
Absolutely true about if Christ endured the cross then what wouldn’t He do for us!! It is all about allowing Him to give us new perspective!!
Such a great reminder! Really all Christians need to ask ourselves….can the light of Christ shine through us if we carry an attitude of pessimism?
Thanks for this! I especially liked: “Pessimism is looking at the world through our own scars instead of His.” God is truly a God of hope!
Love this! It’s so easy to focus on our problems but makes WAYYYY more sense to focus on Jesus’ scars and promises.
Amen! You are so right, in order to avoid being cynical, spending time in the Word of God is crucial.