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Optimism and Faith, Spirituality and Religion

There is a strong connection between spirituality, faith and optimism.   

"Let us start each day with prayerful optimism,” says The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Dr Alfred Adewale Martins

Janine Kirk

"Without faith we have nothing, without hope there is nothing and without love we are nothing.  Optimistic leaders create the conditions where faith, hope and love can thrive."

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."

Pope Francis

“I propose these three characteristics for your testimony at this time: honesty, responsibility and optimism. All three accompanied by discernment."

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."

Andrée Seu Peterson

"Faith, if it means anything at all, means unquenchable optimism in God."
in "Having an optimistic faith for the new year"

Helen Keller

"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."

Helen Keller's Optimism

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.’

Jared Mellinger

"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.”

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.”

Jack Welllman

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.

See Bible Verses for Optimists and Optimism

Rabbi Haskel Lookstein 

“To be a Jew is to be an optimist.”

 Rabbi Joseph Telushkin 

"Jews are optimists with worried faces."

Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson

"You must follow the command of the Tzemach Tzedek to “think optimistically, and things will turn out well.”

Rabbi Pini Dunner

"The Jewish spirit is optimism. We always believe that the impossible is possible. And then that’s what happens."

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites.

Judaism "anticipates redemption, tikkun olam, a human reality that has no evil, just goodness.By anticipating redemption, we develop a tremendous drive to advance the process. This drive is what pushes humanity forward. It is what causes people to give of their time and of their money for the betterment of others whom they do not know and from whom they would not gain anything. This drive cannot grow in apathetic ground. It cannot exist in people who do not feel optimistic about a better future."

Dr Peter Riddles AM

“Optimism is the kindred spirit to faith; it is the glue for a more civil society”

Read Peter on Innovation (Members Only)

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!"

Konyka Dunson

“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."

Riva Levinson

“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."

Sue Doherty, Mayor of the City of South Perth

"Faith is the foundation for my optimism"

Dionne Gleaton, Journalist

"Trusting and believing and the Lord makes me optimistic and gives me the strength to face another day. Things may not be all right with the world, but I take comfort that he’s still the one in control. I appreciate the comfort that his peace brings me every day and despite what may be going on around me locally and around the nation, I am uplifted by his spirit. That is what keeps me optimistic."

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.”

The Dalai Lama

“Choose optimism. It feels better."

The Dalai Lama

“Optimism does not mean being blind to the actual reality of a situation. It means maintaining a positive spirit to continue to seek a solution to any given problem. And it means recognizing that any given situation has many different aspects—positive as well as problematic.”

The Dalai Lama

“I feel optimistic about the future because humanity seems to be growing more mature; scientists are paying more attention to our inner values, to the study of mind and the emotions.”

Sister Shivani, Brahma Kumaris

"Unconditional Optimism is the Soul of your Faith"

Sister Jayanti, European Director of the Brahma Kumaris

Just as nature goes through its cycles, and day will definitely follow the darkest night, although there are many things that feel very dark at the moment, there is a conviction that light will not only penetrate the darkness but banish it - so that the day will begin. Legends and myths of every civilisation have remembered that the power of good ultimately conquers evil. This is the optimism with which I hold a vision for a better world.”

Listen to Jayanti's Meditation on Optimism

Charlie Hogg, Brahma Kumaris

"The first relationship in life is with me. If this relationship is healthy, the mind creates an infectious perfume of positivity and a natural optimism that permeates the atmosphere and uplifts spirits."

Listen to Charlie's Meditation on Optimism

John Lane, Operations and Compliance Manager at Mini Excavations

“Optimism defines Faith in your ability and the support of your work team and family.  Optimism is the precondition of human success.

Bojosi Gamontle

"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"

Dave Armstrong in "Faith and Optimism vs. Reactionary Gloomy Pessimism"

"The orthodox Catholic remains forever an optimist"

Peter BainesFounder and Director of International OperationsHands Across the Water

"I remain optimistic because I have seen beyond the fear and into the soul, beyond the fear we fundamentally care."

Bill Gaither, Gaither Vocal Band founder and bass singer

“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. ”

Darrin Murriner

"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."

Read "Optimistic Persistence"

Terri Weems, Author

"Optimism is putting faith before fear.

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."

Craig Groeschel

"Optimism is the unwavering expectation that our loving God is working in every situation for our future good."

Santosh Mathew, Senior Director and Head - International Affairs ASSOCHAM India.

"God is love. Love is God. And we are here to spread this love to our fellow beings and habitants on this planet to make it a heavenly place on earth. Being optimistic is the only way you can fulfil the purpose from the creator amidst the challenging path that you tread on this planet."

Helen Keller

"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.

Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran

Contrary to the cynic and pessimist, the optimist has the truer perspective on Judaism. The “glass half full” shows us the power of that period from Rosh Chodesh Elul through the conclusion of the Days of Awe, Shmini Atzeret. When we open up our siddurim, we discover the most optimistic of all Psalms, selected specifically for this awesome period – Psalm 27. The Midrash teaches that the words L’Dovid HaShem Ori, the Lord is my life, refer to Rosh Hashanah while v’yishi, and aid, reflects on Yom Kippur. Ki yitzpeneni b’suko, He will hide me within His tabernacle, speaks of Sukkot.

A quick glance through the psalm is enough to find all the words that conjure up hope, optimism, happiness and strength. Begin with the first posuk and go through the chapter: light, aid, stronghold, not fear, confident, desire, dwell in the house of the Lord, pleasantness, shelter, safe, high, sing, chant, gracious, seek you My presence, help, care, teach, guide, land of the living, hope, strong, brave.

Fourteen short verses. Twenty – four optimistic words and phrases.

See "Jewish Optimism"

Tammy Rendina, School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University

"Hope is not pretending that troubles don’t exist.  It is the hope that they won’t last forever.  That hurts will be healed, difficulties will be overcome and confusion will bring clarity.  Learning exemplifies hope, hope for new knowledge, hope for new skills and hope for an exciting future."

Karen Hoisington

"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."

Betty Carlton

"Those who know Jesus are the most optimistic people on earth. Optimism comes of hope and Jesus is our hope."

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'"

Pastor Bob Haines

We ought to have ever-fresh visions for our churches, full of hope, optimistic for what can be done for the glory of God.

If the people of a church are filled with God’s love, then they are optimistic.

Optimism with Bob Haines

Sant Rajinder Singh

"It is important to be optimistic and adopt a positive attitude in life and on the spiritual path. It is up to each of us to choose an optimistic view of life, wherein we have hope and are open to possibility. As we go through life, we need to put into practice the words, ‘Yes, I can!’

"When we embrace an attitude of optimism, we are exemplifying a characteristic of our soul. Our soul is a part of God, and as God is the source of all optimism, this characteristic is also inherent in us. As we set forth with optimism, the ways and means of getting to our goal open for us.

"It all begins, as we take small steps to sit in silence each day and still our minds. Daily, we also take small steps to inculcate ethical virtues in our lives. Step- by-step, we lay the bricks of daily meditation and ethical living to build a strong foundation that will help us fulfil the goal for which we were sent to this world."

Dr Billy Holland

"Faith is having an optimistic attitude even when it seems the situation is hopeless. If our lives were filled with happiness with no problems at all, we would not sense the urgency to pray in faith. Those who read the Bible are well-aware of what is coming in the future and the time to build faith is now."

William R. Goldstone, CEO, Durban Institute of Technology.

“Optimism is in my DNA: I believe that God would never give me more than I can manage. I’ve managed a lot more than most over the course of my life, yet never can I recall a stage of being weary and or unduly exhausted - somehow, I was given this extraordinary boost that would see me through all difficulties to a positive end.”

Nick Ryan FAICDCEO of Lutheran Services Australia

"Some people say that optimism is Pollyanna naivety. I say that long before I arrived and long after I move on the work of Grace abounds. An optimist is one who is alert and expecting to see this dynamic in the midst of struggle, loss, boredom and even evil. The dynamic is often silent and gentle. But it is always there."

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