There is a strong connection between spirituality, faith and optimism.
Saint Josemaria Escriva
"Christian optimism is not a sugary optimism, nor is it a mere human confidence that everything will turn out all right. It is an optimism that sinks its roots into an awareness of our freedom, and the sure knowledge of the power of grace."
"Even on Christmas Day do men remember that Christ came as a prophet of good? His joyous optimism is like water to feverish lips, and has for its highest expression the eight beatitudes. It is because Christ is an optimist that for ages he has dominated the Western world."
Andrée Seu Peterson
"Faith, if it means anything at all, means unquenchable optimism in God."
Cardinal Charles Maung Bo
‘As a Salesian, some of the most important principles l hold are of joy and optimism. In every circumstance, we are asked to maintain joy and optimism in our lives and Pope Francis constantly refers to having a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.’
"The Bible promotes optimism, but it is a certain kind of optimism. It is not the secular optimism of positive thinking or the natural optimism of a laid-back personality, but the godly optimism of Christian hope. True hope endures in the darkness"
Greg Sheridan, Writer
“Creation is good because God is good and he decided that creation would be good, so Genesis is not only rational but optimistic. The account in Genesis that God created humanity in his own image is the most powerful statement in favour of universal human rights that the ancient world ever saw.”
"Those who know Jesus are the most optimistic people on earth. Optimism comes of hope and Jesus is our hope."
“I propose these three characteristics for your testimony at this time: honesty, responsibility and optimism. All three accompanied by discernment."
LaMonique Hamilton Barnes, Writer
"I believe what God says about me, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and He has plans for my prosperity, hope and future. I have no choice but to be optimistic, because I know this life is rigged in my favor!"
“Knowing that my soul is tied to the unfathomable loving force of God, which causes the sun to rise gives me hope. No matter what happens, the sun rises each new day, and my soul rises with it. That knowledge gives me optimism that never ends."
“Optimism comes from hope, which is sustained by faith, and drawn from a belief in God’s Plan"
Christalla Jamil, Headteacher, Eastfield Primary
"By having faith and helping others, my optimism grows because I am thankful. I try to surround myself with positive people, and whatever life throws at me, I seek solutions."
Loni and Rolf Uihlein
“Optimism is the base of our understanding of life. It depends on our belief in Christianity, independent of what mankind makes of it: katholisch, protestant or others. We are sure, that Jesus Christ has helped us through our long life… Sure, we have had many problems.. but we stand always together to overcome those.”
Paul Mogote, Mogote Investment Partners
“The case for optimism is quite easy and can be found in the Bible. Spiritual optimism and a strong faith can lift one’s life beyond imagination. Now if you're talking about the human condition- there will be technological progress, political jockeying, ideological battles, good vs. evil, and so on. Human nature has been pretty constant throughout time as we know it. Good luck.”
Billy Graham, Evangelist
"I am an optimist not because I blindly hope - all evidence to the contrary - that somehow everything will work out all right. Nor am I an optimist because I believe in man's unlimited ability to solve his problems. I am an optimist ultimately because I believe in God."
Dave Armstrong in "Faith and Optimism vs. Reactionary Gloomy Pessimism"
"The orthodox Catholic remains forever an optimist"
"Optimism is hope made alive. It is a decision to exist above negativity and despair. Optimism elevates your imagination to a realm of possibilities. It is in this realm that creativity and motivation bloom, and success becomes a reality"
“I've always said it all starts with a great song, and we are fortunate that each concert includes great songs that have stood the test of time. With all the musical choices that are available now, there is still a special place for the joy and optimism that reside in Gospel music. Good news never gets old. ”
"while there has been a number of things that have contributed to my constant sense of optimism one of the greatest sources for me is my faith."
Don’t we have every reason to be optimistic? We have had our sins forgiven (Col 1:14). We have had the righteousness of Christ imputed or accounted toward us (2 Cor 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 (Rev 20:14) and that gives believers every reason to have optimism about their future.
Russell M Nelson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints speaking about coronavirus
“These unique challenges will pass in time. I remain optimistic for the future."
"Optimism is the unwavering expectation that our loving God is working in every situation for our future good."
"Even on Christmas Day do men remember that Christ came as a prophet of good? His joyous optimism is like water to feverish lips, and has for its highest expression the eight beatitudes. It is because Christ is an optimist that for ages he has dominated the Western world. For nineteen centuries Christendom has gazed into his shining face and felt that all things work together for good.
"What makes me optimistic? As a Christian, I believe God is in control, and somehow His love for mankind will make things work out in the end. Nature has shown the way a bit during this COVID-19 and how fast the earth healed. I believe there will be a small group of catalysts who will show us a better way."
Rev. Dr. J. Barrington Bates
"Jesus showed an unquenchable, confident optimism—even in seemingly dire situations. And he commanded us not to fear, but live in hope."
Sermon from St Vincent's Parish Church
"The genuine Christian is an eternal optimist. He knows his faith and hope in God will not disappoint. He knows evil will not succeed in the end even though at times it might appear to be getting the upper hand. As the scriptures says: 'When Christ comes again all his enemies will be put under his feet'"
"The certainty of Christian hope lies beyond passion and beyond knowledge. Therefore we must sometimes expect our hope to come in conflict with darkness, desperation and ignorance. Therefore, too, we must remember that Christian optimism is not a perpetual sense of euphoria, an indefectible comfort in whose presence neither anguish nor tragedy can possibly exist. We must not strive to maintain a climate of optimism by the mere suppression of tragic realities. Christian optimism lies in a hope of victory that transcends all tragedy: a victory in which we pass beyond tragedy to glory with Christ crucified and risen."
Christina Capecchi in Life Is Just Beginning: Expansion at Any Age
God "wants us to be happy and hopeful, to possess the “joyful optimism” named as a virtue in Salesian Spirituality. And in pursuing our passions, we make a sacred offering. As St. Augustine wrote: “The desire of your heart is itself your prayer.” That prayer keeps pulsing—at 50, 60 and 70. It whispers: I’m just getting going."
Lore Ferguson Wilbert
"Our optimism doesn’t rest in good things happening. It rests in a good God who has always brought His good gifts from unexpected places. Our expectation is in Him. In Him, we can hope all things (1 Cor. 13:7). In Him, we can find joy in all circumstances (Phil. 4:12). In Him, we are cheerful in our giving (2 Cor. 9:7). In Him, we look for beauty from ashes (Isa. 61:3). In Him, we are eternal optimists (John 6:68)."
C. Philip Green
Our attitude makes a crucial difference in dealing with life, and we as believers in Christ have every reason to be optimistic. Our future is guaranteed! We have an incorruptible inheritance and the power of God protecting us until we get to glory (1 Peter 1:4-5).
Robert E. Webber
"Next, the second coming says that the ultimate word in history is the triumph of God, the reign of God’s kingdom, the eternal and lasting rule of the good. Here is where our Advent meditation rests. By faith we are promised that evil will be judged and done away with and all will be made whole. This is the vision we want to carry with us as we view the news and visit the hospitals, psychiatric wards, and prisons of our world. Christian hope is an optimism about life that is grounded in Christ and celebrated again and again in the liturgy of the church."
Rev Kenneth Padley
"Hope is optimism. Hope is certainty. And hope is engagement. That is why we hope with expectation of the future, trust in Christ, and patience in waiting. Christian hope is bigger and better than we can begin to conceive. But in Advent, the season of hope, we come close to catching a glimpse."
Reverend Jacklevyn Frits Manuputty, general secretary of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (2020)
“We must not fear the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, we must have the spirit of love, hope, and optimism to see better days in the future. We believe that Jesus is with us. Have faith!”
Jon Batiste, Musician
"We’re in a very dehumanising time. You have to have a lot of therapy – by therapy, I mean to access things that give you the feeling of being human and connect us to our greater purpose. When I create, it’s never separate from my faith as a Christian. I take my faith as the ultimate form of optimism, because it allows you to understand as much as anyone can why things are the way they are. There are things we can’t change, but we should just focus on things that we can change. That’s what all of the greats have done."
Kevin M Watson, associate professor of Wesleyan and Methodist Studies at Candler School of Theology, Emory University
"Methodism exists in order to preach, teach, and proclaim the bold optimism that the grace of God is able to bring full salvation to everyone. Methodism separated from this core teaching has no future. If Methodism focuses once again on this grand depositum, it will find new life and fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit in its midst."
Pastor Gerrit Mes, AFM Pentecostal Fellowship
"I probably tend towards pessimistic or melancholic in nature. Don’t be shocked, many things can be hidden behind a smile and laughter. But I have found keys to transition to being an optimist. Choose the right friends. The passion and enthusiasm of optimistic people are contagious. Avoiding pessimists also helps.
"But it is my faith in God that helps me the most. Knowing that God loves me, has a purpose for me, helps me to focus on the light instead of the darkness. Being optimistic does not change my world, but it helps to always have hope. Jesus Christ, believe in him or not, saw opportunity in difficulty. Imagine hanging on a cross, facing your mocking enemies and death, and saying, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”.
"Being an optimist is not a choice, it is an act of faith."
Billy Holland in "Living With Purpose: Forever an optimist in an imperfect world"
"Followers of Christ are not optimistic because they trust in man’s abilities to solve the world’s problems, or hope that somehow everything is going to turn out alright. We are optimistic simply because we believe that God is who He says He is. When we observe circumstances without including God, we base our thoughts on fear, which is pessimistic. However, true faith is seeing circumstances through the eyes of God."
"I cannot imagine a more optimistic and exciting thought than going to heaven and spending an eternity in God’s presence. For the Christian, this promise should be a wellspring of joy reminding us that our trials cannot be compared to the glory that awaits us. May we tape this to our bathroom mirror to remind us every morning of how God’s amazing grace provided a way for us to live with Him forever."
Luke Slattery, Writer in The Australian
"A theme within mainstream Christianity that is often overlooked, if it hasn’t been entirely forgotten, is optimism. A powerful belief in human potential and dignity emerged from the Italian Renaissance. This was a time when the rediscovered dialogues of Plato, with their mystical other-worldly flavour, were made to dovetail with Christianity by philosophers such as Marsilio Ficino. Pagan and Christian magical thinking were harmonised."
A popular misconception about the Florentine Renaissance – aided and abetted by Stephen Greenblatt’s popular yet profoundly misleading 2012 Pulitzer winner, The Swerve – holds that the emergence of humanism involved a rejection of religion, a breaking of medieval shackles.
The opposite is the case. The key Florentine humanists were attempting to build bridges between Platonism and Christianity. The Platonic revival among Christian humanists helped to elevate the image of humankind, burdened in scripture by expulsion from the Garden of Eden and the shame of original sin, into, in the words of one prominent Christian humanist of that time, a “magnificent miracle and wondrous creation”.
It is because human ears are attuned to God’s calling that we have the capacity to experience the divine in this life – a little like the Buddhist notion of enlightenment – and to raise our natures from the base to the noble.
“If God were absent from the world,” said one of the great philosophers in this tradition, “he would not be in you either.”
The material excellence of the Florentine Renaissance – the art, the architecture, the wealth – would not have been possible without this powerful yearning for spiritual excellence.
An immense gulf separates this optimistic view of human nature from ours. We are, perhaps, far too aware of humankind’s secular fall – the Third Reich, the sins of colonialism – for this radiant species exceptionalism. But that’s no reason to turn away from, in a spirit of neglectful ignorance, the mystical tradition within Christianity.
This is a challenge for all people who sense that they are on a spiritual, though not necessarily a religious, search. The challenge is to raise and enlarge the self, to move the mysteries at the periphery of daily existence to the core of consciousness. It’s a contemplative, meditative, mystical line of thinking we associate with Eastern religions. But it’s powerfully present in Christianity, too.
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