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Confidence and Optimism ..... January 3, 2021

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 ESV

As we go into this new year, it would be an understatement to say that we have just completed a most difficult year. It is always good to begin fresh and, optimistically speaking, that is what most people wish to do. In order to be optimistic, a person needs confidence to begin and believe that there is a better day coming. However, optimism without Christ is at best a pipe dream, for we have no authority nor control over the future, but as Christians, we know the One who does. So how do we grow in confidence when some reports continue to be less than we hope for? Speaking from a Christian perspective may I attempt to answer that question? First, you must remember, in order to be optimistic and confident we must look to the One who has made more promises to us than we can remember. Secondly, remember to begin each day believing the promises, even if you don’t understand all that is going on in the world that surrounds you.

Remember God’s Promises: These are just a sampling of God’s promises

YOU KEEP HIM IN PERFECT PEACE whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3 ESV

If my people, who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I WILL HEAR from heaven, and WILL FORGIVE their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV

Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, do not be dismayed, for the Lord your GOD IS WITH YOU wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 ESV

When the righteous cry for help, the LORD HEARS AND DELIVERS them out of all their troubles. Psalm 34:17 ESV

THE LORD IS A STRONGHOLD for the oppressed, A STRONGHOLD in times of trouble. Psalm 9:9 ESV

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. AND THE PEACE OF GOD, which surpasses all understanding, WILL GUARD YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS, in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 6-7 ESV

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding, In all your ways acknowledge him, and HE WILL MAKE STRAIGHT YOUR PATHS Proverbs 3: 5-6 ESV

I read somewhere this week that someone once counted all the promises made by God in the Bible and there were over 8000.

Believe: Have you ever heard the saying, “Seeing is believing”? Jesus said Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” John 20:29b ESV. He said this in reference to himself... it is by faith that we believe in whom we have not seen. It is by faith that we believe there are better days ahead for the Christian because they are not looking to this world for their happiness. As a Christian, I am optimistic because I know Who holds the future and that he has plans for me that are greater than I could ever imagine. A promise that Jesus made to those who followed and follow him... I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may also be. John 14:2-3 ESV. The most important responsibility/work the Christian has to do is BELIEVE!!!! Jesus said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” John 6:29 ESV. As Christians, we should be confidently optimistic because we serve the living God... the creator of all that is... who loved us enough to come, die, and rise again defeating death and sin so that we might have life. We have the promise of eternal life..... because he lives. Oh death, where is your victory? Oh death, where is your sting? 1 Corinthians 15: 55 ESV. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57 ESV.

Application: There is no secret formula to confidence and optimism; it is simply a matter of trusting in God’s promises and believing. If you are having difficulty experiencing confidence then find a specific promise God has made for you and meditate upon it. Be optimistic..... And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 ESV

Believe it.....

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David