Optimism or Faith

Nowadays, with the influx of self-help gurus and motivational speakers, it is quite difficult to distinguish an unyielding positive attitude from deep and genuine faith.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in the importance of both. But it is essential that we don’t mix up the two. Otherwise, the devil can make us believe that we have faith when all we’ve got really is just optimism. And when this happens, we might end up frustrated, hurt or even disappointed with God.

Allow me to try to distinguish the two…

Optimism is believing in what you can do while Faith is believing in what God can do for and through you;

Optimism is maintaining a positive attitude to attain success for yourself while Faith is maintaining a trusting attitude to attain success for God’s plans;

Optimism is boxing God according to your will while Faith is giving God the freedom to fulfill His will for your life;

Optimism is cornering God into your own plans while Faith is yielding to God’s perfect plans for your life;

Optimism is saying “God will grant the desires of my heart” while Faith is saying “God will grant the desires of my heart for as long as they are in line with the desires of His heart”;

Optimism says that “God will do this for me” while Faith says “God will do this for me for as long as it is good for me”;

Optimism relies primarily in what God will do while Faith relies primarily in who God is.

God answers our prayers not according to our deeds but according to our needs. Today, let us approach the Lord not only with optimism, but more importantly, in faith.

Optimism might take you to your heart’s desires. But faith will take you to the heart of God.

In Christ,

Bobby

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9 thoughts on “Optimism or Faith

  1. Thanks for these reminders, Bobby!

    Very important distinguishing points you made here. You only learn these differences after years and years in walking (and stumbling in) the faith, and it will still be easy to mix up the two!

    My own take on this is: Optimism is seeing the bright side of things for the sake of feeling good; it is hoping just because there’s no other way but up, there’s no other choice. Faith is striving to see things as they are in God’s eye, hoping that, in God, everything will be perfect in His time.

    Nevertheless, we can use optimism and motivational techniques in our faith, but we must know that it is limited, even dangerous, without recognizing our innate blind spots as human beings, that only God is really able to see things as they are.

  2. The first is merely psychological, positive-thinking; the latter is an exercise of the Christian understanding of hope (i.e., we hope not on an abstract idea, but actually on Someone who is the basis of all our hope, (as articulated by the theologian Moltmann?)). (Not sure about Moltmann, but he supposedly wrote a great oft-quoted tract on the subject.)

  3. Thank you very much for the enlightening article, bro. True enough, God is present in all circumstances, in our joys & sorrows, in prosperity & in want, in the bad, the good and even in the ordinary scale of things. Faith is believing and relying on who God is, the Source of all that is true & all that is love. I’ll share this article to the brothers & sisters in Lingkod San Fernando, bro. Keep the faith & God bless you always, Bro. Bobby

  4. Nice article bro. It’s good that through this article we will be able to keep ourselves aware if we still have faith with our Father or are we just being optimistic.

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