God’s not for pessimists

Pessimism is not a place for believers in God to be. Even for those of us who struggle with despair, the notion that God loves and can empower us is a regenerating one.
The message of the Bible, the Talmud and the Koran is that on this planet sometimes we seem to have power, and sometimes we don’t. In both states, God is sovereign. We might not have all that much to be optimistic about, but we can have hope.

We are living on a fallen planet, surrounded by chaos and beauty and sin and suffering and righteousness.
But hope is powerful in this world at this time of renewal and rebirth. After a bitter winter, the arrival of spring unlocks some joy.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said that if spring came but once a century instead of once a year “there would be wonder and excitement in all hearts to behold this miraculous change’’.

So let’s be cheerful, live in hope, be productive and useful. Once we choose hope, anything’s possible.

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23 thoughts on “God’s not for pessimists

  1. Just reading this makes me feel happy.

    Whenever I used to get depressed, I used to alleviate it a little by saying to myself ‘tomorrow will be different, I will wake up tomorrow and things won’t be so bad’.

    I also remember a time when I felt I was never going to be able to pull myself out of what I felt was a self imposed depression. I asked God for help and over the coming months there was change. There is no doubt in my mind that it wasn’t me, it was help from above. God was my hope, my spring and my sunshine. Thank you God. Thank you for forgiving me.

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    • Amen!

      Me too Kathleen—Antidepressants don’t work for me, but God surely does. And it often involves repentance on my part. That’s what opens the door and lets the Light come flooding into the darkness of my mind and heart.

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      • Just remember ladies to distinguish between depression and godly sorrow (2 Cor 7:8-10):
        …8 For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it– for I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while– 9I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. 10For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.…

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      • I used to suffer from severe hypochondria.
        Fortunately a course of placebo tablets cured me.

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      • I know what you’re saying davinci. It was definitely depression. To me sorrow is guilt/sin free and doesn’t have an ’emotionally sick’ feeling to it.

        Monica, agreed. I would hope many more people come to learn the difference.

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      • You’ve certainly given me food for thought Davinci,

        But like Kathleen, I do feel there is a huge difference between godly sorrow and depression. As Scripture states, one leads to repentance and the other leads to death and the depression I have suffered from certainly leads to death….you give up on living because you are in a fog of hopelessness and despair. It clings to you and sufficates you so that you cannot break free, however much you long to. You need help. But my depression is usually the result of trauma and isolation—isolation is a big one! And I’ve had to forgive before I could receive healing and repent for the part I played in the circumstances that lead to my depression, especially my lack of faith in God. Mind you, sorrow is very much a part of depression too.

        But, spiritually speaking, I am also very familiar with Godly sorrow that brings repentance. Also too, the burdens (sorrow) that God places on an intercessor, or a prophet, or, when God wills it, experiencing the sorrow He feels for others.

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    • Even atheists operate on that basis, Kathleen:- “‘tomorrow will be different, I will wake up tomorrow and things won’t be so bad’.”
      aka:- if you ignore anything for long enough it’ll go away.

      But the question is this:- If ‘god’s sovereign’ why would you assume your depressions were “self-imposed”?…. And the corollary is:- If your depressions WERE self-imposed then why would you think any ‘outside agency’ could ‘unimpose’ them?

      This whole attitude of ‘god good/people bad’ is EXACTLY the same syndrome as the battered wife (or child ~ or other animal) who’s convinced that it’s all their own fault they’re endlessly bashed and abused.
      …and who wallows in their their guilt and helplessness.

      Any god worth knowing would’ve created people with more self-respect, dignity and character.
      ….and CERTAINLY wouldn’t be inclined to have a ‘relationship’ with the sort of snivelling cowards religion (particularly judeao-chrisatianity) had produced.

      Sorry of that sounds a bit …er, ‘unchristian’ but it annoys the bejesus out of me to think how much of the world’s misery could be alleviated if only people would take responsibility for themselves, their actions, attitudes morals. Why would any person with human dignity wait for ‘god’ to save the endless starving kids when it was the very same ‘god’ who’s (theoretically) responsible for their starvation in the first place?
      Who with any human dignity ( let alone ‘specialness’) could be proud of being designated as ‘sheep’, and ‘members of the flock’.

      Can you people not see that the very creation of your (various) gods, along with the insidious ongoing conditioning is no more than a common political strategy to give some ambitious arsehole (eg Moses/Mohammed) power over you ~ control that serves their own ends AND NOTHING ELSE?

      Maybe the real message of the Jesus character was that it’s better to die for a human principle than to live as a bloody baa-baaa.

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      • I think when you go against God’s teachings and you separate yourself from Him, you make yourself sick. Sin is sludge for the soul.

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      • How about if one complies with ‘god’s’ teachings, but doesn’t believe god exists. (ie the same ‘teachings are sourced elsewhere?)

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      • Kind of like wallking and not acknowledging that your legs are doing the moving.

        God is the source, whether people acknowledge Him or not, doesn’t make them independant of Him, just not quite as ‘whole’. Missing something, hence not quite as happy.

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      • I see….” Missing something, hence not quite as happy.”
        ……..as in “godly sorrow and depression.” ~ not to mention a gut-gnawing guilt since Eve’s little stunt?
        I can’t imaging devoting my whole life to ‘Fear of god’ ~ or of anything else ~ let alone being proud of it.

        btw. There’s ample evidence that one can/could walk without god’s help.
        There’s also ample evidence that one CAN’T walk without legs (even if they’re artificial.)

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  2. That’s self-contradictory:- ” Even for those of us who struggle with despair, the notion that God loves and can empower us is a regenerating one.”

    If ‘regenerated’ how’s it necessary to “struggle with despair”?

    Certainly “choose hope” but be aware that said ‘hope’ doesn’t exist in the status quo: THAT’S just as your gods designed things to be.

    AS you say, in your view “God is sovereign”, and that’s probably why “We might not have all that much to be optimistic about”. What “hope” can you have in a situation that’s as full of shit as our world is?

    When your kid ‘created’ an unacceptable mess did YOU change his nappy or leave it to your (promises,promises) god to fix?
    Take a hint.

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    • The operative word here Dabbles is nappy implying that the kid is unable to make his own decision. But as adults we are able to make our own decisions so your example is incorrect. Furthermore if my son even wore a nappy, I’d have something nasty to say to him (him being a rational well adjusted mentally healthy 20 something adult). If he made a mess in his hypothetical nappy, I would leave him in the mess he made for himself. Rationale being is that he is a fully functioning adult with the ability to reason for himself.

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      • And this is exactly why God doesn’t step in at every mess we make. Sometimes we need to learn the consequences of our actions (as painful as they might be). And many times we rebel against God when He tries to offer the cure that led to the mess in the first place. Which is why as Christians we do not look to man for inspiration but the Author and Finisher of our Faith (See Hebrews 12:1). The best we can do when looking at people is how they overcame the mess by also looking at the Author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 11)

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      • A pooper-scooper is the only appropriate place for this sort of sanctimonious dogmatic faeces! :-“He tries to offer the cure that led to the mess in the first place. ”

        Try reading Genesis 1:1 —> In the beginning……..
        “We, as adults”, didn’t have ANY say in even the decision-making process of being ‘created’ ~ nor later ‘born’.

        You can’t chuck a brick into a sewerage-farm and then blame it for making a splash.
        Nor even offer the brick swimming lessons: everything can ONLY, EVER behave as it’s intended and engineered to behave, and to pretend otherwise is a nonsense.
        If your god’s responsible for the existence of all things, then he’s undeniably responsible for the way all things behave.

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      • “…..Furthermore if my son even wore a nappy, I’d have something nasty to say to him…”
        What?? Even if it was HIS ‘decision’ to do so.

        …and no, I’m not “implying” anything. I’m clearly stating that ‘god’, entirely without permission, let or hindrance, arbitrarily, unilaterally, mandatorily created us to produce shit, and then placed us in this ‘nappy’ we call ‘Earth’.
        ……and used unopenable safety-pins

        Now, you’re claiming, we can ‘decide’ to ‘put on a fresh nappy’??
        …because we have ‘Free Will’, of course!

        How dare you gainsay god’s work??
        Let alone HIS obvious ‘decision’?

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  3. True.
    Every period of our life is like a season, we all need the winter as the Nature does, and we all need the summer heat, the fragrance of spring, and the harvest after we sow and cared our life and the people around us.
    When we are soaking wet by in a sudden storm, it is just the time to be grateful, for being alive. Water is life, in every format.
    Foolish to be desperate, foolish to be sad, since this roots in selfishness.
    God is the very being, who can still keep his vision of an ideal world with all of us in an ideal, joyful, actively happy state.
    If we know this idea, if we want to know it, we will experience the hope and joy our Heavenly Father.

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  4. Anyone discussing life is in a place where discussion is possible, not in extremis. Therefor we are inclined to think that if we have food and warmth, everyone can. You just have to work harder and pray harder. A lot of people this doesn’t work for. Life isn’t fair.

    As you sow, so shall you reap, often is false when considering one lifetime.

    I am an optomist for two reasons. I take a longer view than one lifetime, and at present I am in that comparitively comfortable place where I can afford to philosophise.

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