A reason for optimism

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, January 20, 2016

It’s been decades since I heard Vance Havner preach his delightfully inspirational sermon on Daniel in the lion’s den. He entitled it, “Look Who’s Here!” He was known for being adept at turning a phrase. For instance, when he deemed it appropriate he would describe people who were optimistic as simply having a “misty optic.” I suppose it was a generational thing when he said preachers should be attired only in black or gray suits, for only such were befitting the profession. There goes most of my wardrobe!

I don’t think I have a “misty optic,” but I do think I for the most part am an optimist. Admittedly I am pessimistic about some things. Take the state of world affairs for instance. I don’t have much hope for any significant improvement any time soon. There’s trouble everywhere. There’s trouble abroad and trouble at home. If you dwell on it, it can induce some Mylanta moments. While I am not all that hopeful about the resolution of the sad state of world affairs any time soon, I am optimistic as to the ultimate outcome of things. That’s because of my biblical faith.

Take the Book of Revelation for example. Some people find it mysterious, and fearing it they avoid it. Others pour over it in an effort to discern amidst it numbers, symbols and bizarre figures God’s plan for the ages and the End Time. The book is not to be feared, but read. And whatever blueprint one may seek for the future in it, its primary purpose ought not be ignored. It is a tract for hard times. It was given by God to John to encourage a church beset by troubles from a world that opposed it and the state of affairs only boded to get worse. Its basic message is, however things may appear to the contrary, God is in control. He is sovereign and has neither abdicated His role in the world, nor had it usurped. Evil may have its day but it is ultimately doomed. God and good will triumph. The battle has been fought and won by the Cross of the Christ. And we who are His will triumph with Him. That’s basically what I get out of it.

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So on that basis, I am optimistic about the ultimate outcome of things. I don’t have a “misty optic,” and I am not thoroughly pessimistic. I don’t know if I would be classified as an optimistic pessimist or a pessimistic optimist, or if there is such a thing. However I would be classified, I leave the matter in the hands of Almighty God who knows all about these things, and has got everything including me under His control.

Submitted by Darryl Maxwell, retired Baptist minister