Optimism built on solid foundation
Being content and happy pay rich dividends in our lives. If we have an attitude of looking on the bright side of life, there is a chance of good health. According to a report appeared on Daily Mirror regarding optimism and health, people who have high optimism may engage in a healthy lifestyle that minimizes health risks and increases health and well-being. Perhaps, when people have a positive outlook on life, they undertake actions more likely to produce good outcomes. Research team led by Dr Eric Kim of Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston conducted a study on 70000 women about the positive effects of optimism. They found out that optimistic people a third less likely to die from conditions like cancer, heart diseases and stroke than more pessimistic people. Dr Eric Kim said, “While most medical and public health efforts today focus on reducing risk factors for diseases, evidence has been mounting that enhancing psychological resilience may also make a difference. Our new findings suggest that we should make efforts to boost optimism, which has been shown to be associated with healthier behaviours and healthier ways of coping with life challenges.”
Christians have one of the greatest optimistic teachings imparted by our Master. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6: 25-26). While the world’s optimism is totally depend on things on earth, a Christian’s optimism is completely relied on his faith in Jesus. Biblical optimism does not give much stress on earthly things. It can cope with any hard situations because it believes that “all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Randy Alcorn’s writing about Biblical Optimism is an eye opener. “If we build our lives on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ’s eternity-shaping redemptive work, we can be optimists. Why? Because even our most painful experience is but a temporary setback. Our pain and suffering may or may not be relieved in this life, but will certainly be relieved in the next. That is Christ’s promise—no more death, crying or pain; he will wipe away all our tears (Revelation 21:4). Indeed, any other foundation is sand, not rock. It will inevitably disappoint us.”
Jack Wellman in Patheos.com puts reasons for Christians to be optimistic. “Don’t we have every reason to be optimistic? We have had our sins forgiven (Colossians 1:14). We have had the righteousness of Christ imputed or accounted toward us (2 Corinthians 5:21) and we who have repented and trusted in Christ have eternal life (John 3:16). This means that when Christ returns, we won’t have to face the so-called second death (Revelation 20:14) and that gives believers every reason to have optimism about their future.”
“Christ said to His disciples, who would suffer much, “Rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). Our optimism isn’t “health and wealth gospel” wishful thinking which claims that God will spare us from suffering here and now. Peter said, “Rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:13). Christ’s future glory, in which His children will participate, is the reason for our present rejoicing while suffering,” writes Randy Alcorn. Biblical optimism is much higher than the worldly optimism. It is rejoicing in sufferings and it helps us to trust in heavenly things, not the things on earth.
By Prakash P Koshy