I looked up the definition of pessimism the other day, because I wanted to know if we all use the word right. Apparently it’s the feeling that bad things are more likely to happen than good things.
It’s fair to say we all have days when we are pessimistic, but unfortunately for some it’s a constant state of being.
Given our perspective in life is shaped by our past experiences, hurts, disappointments, abusive environments, broken promises it’s understandable how we can end up pessimistic.
If after all, you don’t set you sights high, you do not get disappointed, if you don’t expect much from people, they cannot hurt you.
For me like most people, it’s all so easy to cast my eyes backwards where I have been, what I have been through and look down because all I want to do is to focus on putting one foot in front of the other. Looking ahead the view can be foggy and unclear. Sometimes it’s terrifying to look ahead because there are so many unknowns, so much that could go wrong that’s waiting to go wrong as soon as I get there.
Which made me wonder, how can I have such a bleak view on life? With all the promises that God has upon his children, am I not just living at the fringes of what God really has for me? Am I really living life to it’s full capacity? How can I be living in so much fear and lack when God is a God of abundance and overflowing love?
Does God give peace that surpasses all understanding to some people and not to some? I had to refocus my eyes on who God is, and I know he is faithful, loving and graceful. I had to stop looking at my future (immediate and far) with such trepidation, as he is the one after all who said “I will betroth you to me forever,in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion,” not for a little while but forever. In all fairness I had no reason to be afraid because he transcends time and he has gone before me, so he knows my unknowns and he knows how I will overcome them.
And yet equipped with all this knowledge, it was all in my head. In my heart, I had what I can describe as doubt, big loud doubt. I wanted so desperately to saturate myself in these true words and promises of God, to know that I can believe good things lie in my future, to not expect devastation and tragedy to creep out on me. But it was more difficult to stop staring behind me.
There’s a certain comfort that is birthed from familiarity, and one can become familiar with lack and it can become your norm. What is it that you keep looking back at, that stops you from seeing all the wonderful promises ahead of you?
I did not want to gloss over the cold fact that disappointments are inevitable, but there’s a clause there, “in all things God works for the good of those who love him”. I didn’t want Romans 8 vs 28 to be just be a lovely verse I would quote once in a while.
I wanted to live it, breathe it and believe it.
I love the bible, full of flawed people like you and me, just trying to do life and yet we see the redemptive power of God, his character demonstrated in these people’s lives. The more I delved into his character the more I understood. He actually does come through, he means that stuff he says.
Sounds silly but it was a eureka moment for me. I could actually shift my gaze from my past and choose to live in his abundance. I could choose to believe that I had a bright future, I could dream big because guess what God actually had big plans for my life. There is joy and freedom in Christ, and I did not have to live in bondage to pessimism, that’s not what I or you were designed for.
Dare to dream bigger and aim higher, because God is a God of abundance and after all nothing is too hard for him. Let his love wash over you, heal you and restore you to what he originally intended for you to be. Let go of the past, open a blank new page and start to write a future filled with hope.