Be a Spiritual Optimist: Pastor Jeff Moorehead
by Pastor Jeff Moorehead, Lead Pastor & Elder, Christ's Church Federal Way
What is an optimist? Well, it depends on who you ask:
- One husband was overheard saying, “an optimist is a person who keeps his car’s motor running while his wife goes shopping.” (I hope the ladies are laughing.)
- Another quipped, “How can you easily spot an optimist? It’s like an older person buying green bananas.”
- Still, another offered this interesting view, “An optimist is someone who, after being pushed off a bridge, says, ‘so far so good.’”
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word optimist as “a person who is inclined to be hopeful and to expect good outcomes.” Believe it or not, this definition could very well fit the summation of what you get when you put biblical joy and hope together.
- God’s joy is a deep satisfaction in knowing Christ as our Lord and Savior (the angel’s announcement at Christ’s birth: “I bring you good news of great joy” Luke 2:8–11). Mary experienced it when she sang: “My soul exalts the Lord and my spirit rejoiced in God my Savior” (Luke 1:47). God has “put gladness” in our hearts (Psalm 4:7)
- God’s hope is “an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast” (Heb. 6:19) that “does not disappoint” (Rom. 5:5).
When you put those two together (joy & hope), they will always bring “good outcomes” because “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God” (Rom.8:28). This “good” (coming from God) will be the best good you could have even when it doesn’t come in the way we would prefer.
All this sounds like spiritual optimism to me. As believers, we don’t look “at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18).
In God’s world, the glass is never half empty or half full, but running over (Psalm 23:5), so we can be spiritual optimists and say with Jude: “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen" (Jude 24–25).