How optimistic are you? Are you a glass half-full or half-empty kind of person? This is important because there is a direct link between your faith and your optimism. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1 KJV" When faced with difficulty, even the most positive individual can find it challenging to generate optimism if their faith is not as strong at that moment. It begins with your thoughts and then manifests itself in your words; spoken or otherwise. In modern context, the otherwise may be the choice of social media used to express oneself. Even on our best day, all it can take is one phone call, text, results from a medical exam, news of or from a loved one, job related circumstance, etc. to test which side of the positive/negative scale that our thoughts flow to first. I'm not at all suggesting that we avoid feeling emotions; that is a natural part of being human. But being optimistic or having hope is an intentional practice and it does require “practice” in order to become habitual. Here are some tips to use on a daily basis to help get the boost that you need.
Receive it! Increase your faith by increasing your hearing of God's Word. What you hear matters in determining how optimistic you are. Make hearing God's word through preaching and teaching a priority. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17 KJV. Download a bible app that allows you to listen to scriptures from your mobile devices and/or computer. Try reading along and listening at the same to increase retention. Create music playlists to listen to that are faith based, encouraging and uplifting.
Repeat it! Speak wisely. Your words have power. "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof" Proverbs 18:21 KJV. Resist the temptation to put yourself or others down with your words or to complain or be negative. Here are some examples of scriptures to speak over yourself and situations that arise: "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that it is in you, than he that is in the world. I John 4:4 KJV, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13 KJV "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” Isaiah 54:17 KJV
Release it! Your past does not define your future. The opposite of optimism is pessimism which can sometimes be tied to past experiences that had a negative outcome and have created a fear of failure. Uncertainty itself can cause fear as well. Remind yourself of God's love for us. "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. " I John 4:18 KJV Let the past go. "...lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, " Hebrews 12:1 KJV
Remember it! Remind yourself constantly of times when the Lord has worked in your life and on your behalf. Keep a journal or notebook of your testimonies. "I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old." Psalms 77:11 KJV
Rehearse it! Share the Lord's goodness to you with someone else. "Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee." Mark 5:19 KJV.