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Overcoming Pessimism (LHCOC)

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Overcoming Pessimism


1.                   I read about a schoolboy who brought home his report card. It was heavy with poor grades. "What have you to say about this?" asked his father. "One thing for sure," the boy replied, "Dad, you can be proud. You know I haven't been cheating!"

a.                   Morning Glory, August 12, 1993.

b.                  We may say, “at least the boy was optimistic.”

2.                   I am sure you have heard about optimism and pessimism. 

a.                   An optimist believes we live in the best of all possible worlds. A pessimist fears this is true. 

b.                  An optimist always looks at the positive side of a situation, while a pessimist will always find something wrong with the situation.

3.                   How do you look at life?  Is your glass half empty or is it half full?

4.                   Today we want to look at Jesus as an example of optimism, and then see how we can be like Him.


I.                        WHAT ABOUT JESUS?

A.                Was Jesus an optimist or a pessimist?

1.                  He told the disciples who had little faith, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Mt.19:26).

2.                  Paul found his strength through Jesus when he said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil.4:13).

B.                 Why wasn’t Jesus a pessimist?  By worldly measure, He had reason to be:

1.                  He was rejected by His countrymen (Jn.1:10-11; Lk.6:11).

2.                  He had problems with Disciples and their faith (O ye of little faith – Mt.14:22-31).

3.                  Jesus was not a pessimist because He knew where He was going (Jn.13:1).

C.                 Jesus overcame pessimism because He never allowed His circumstances to control His outlook on life.

1.                  Jesus was far-sighted, i.e. He looked towards the future.

2.                  Although Jesus, “left the splendor of heaven knowing His destiny,” He still was positive, and I assume a pleasant person to be around.

II.                        WHAT ABOUT US?

A.                Are we optimists or pessimists?

1.                  Opportunities are always around, but only those who are prepared utilize them effectively.

2.                  Are we like the disciples when troubles and trials come? (O ye of little faith)

3.                  Do we find our strength is Christ as did Paul?

B.                 Why are we pessimistic at times?

1.                  We cannot see the outcome.

                                                                        a.                   This comes by being near-sighted, i.e. not looking at the outcome.

                                                                       b.                   “And we know all things work together for good for those that love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom.8:28).

2.                  We lose hope.

                                                                        a.                   Do you know that optimism can save your life, and encourage you to do things other said were impossible?  It is all about how you look at life.

                                                                       b.                   Do we, as Jesus, know where we are going (1 Jn.3:1-3)?

3.                  We do not notice the impression we leave with others.

                                                                        a.                   If we lose hope, it hurts others.

                                                                       b.                   Sometimes we think that we are better than others (e.g. restaurant on Sunday).

C.                 How do we overcome pessimism?

1.                  Look to Jesus (Heb.12:1-2).

                                                                        a.                   Jesus came to earth as a man, He humbled Himself, took upon Himself the form of a slave, lived a sinless life, sought to seek and save the lost, and died a death He did not deserve (cf. Phil.2:5-8; Lk.19:10; Rom.5:1-8).

                                                                       b.                   Jesus could have went around with His head down, but He kept His head up and fulfilled His mission (Jn.9:4).

2.                  Look at the bright side (1 Cor.10:13).

                                                                        a.                   If you think you have it bad, there is always someone who has it worse.

                                                                       b.                   Many Americans today grumble and complain and have no idea what it is like to live in a third world country.

3.                  Look at all your options (Phil.1:21-24).

                                                                        a.                   Sometimes we can be put in tough positions as it relates to living and dying.  Never lose hope! 

                                                                       b.                   Even if we may lose the battle of life on earth, if we have been faithful to the Lord, “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Rom.8:37-39).



1.                   Trials, sickness, loss of loved one, loneliness, heartache, all can be overcome with optimism!

2.                   We can overcome any obstacle in life by knowing our glass is half full.

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