Curious Faith

Day 6 of 7 • This day’s reading


Learned Optimists

Worry limits possibility, because in order to move forward, everything has to fall into place or make perfect sense. So if you’re worried all the time, you won’t make a move unless it seems as thought the stars have all aligned in your favor. Worry is a stutter of faith. Faith is trust. People who worry won’t do the trust fall with God. A faith defined by worry is an immobile one.

As long as we allow worry to define our perspective, then we will always be prisoner to small possibilities. We will never see what God could do in our lives if we allow fear to determine where we go. Possibility becomes grossly limited because in order to move forward everything has to fall into place or make perfect sense to us. Gates don’t always fling wide, and the stars of our perfectly laid plans don’t always align. God wants us to follow him, whether we can see the path before us or not. We can trust that He will clothe and bless us much more than even the flowers He speckles with a detailed brush.

All that worry, though, mostly comes down to me just being afraid. Afraid to hurt. Afraid to feel broken. Afraid to lose. Afraid to fail. Afraid of rejection. Afraid to die. I worry about what if … what if I do get hurt? Feel broken? Lose? Fail? Get rejected? Die? Do I believe that God can redeem those things or not? Do I believe that He will paint with beautiful intentionality on my life just like He does on the flowers?

What are you worried about? What keeps you up at night? Do you believe that God is big enough to address your worries? Your fears? Do you believe that He can overcome them? Do you believe that with Him, you can? What false stories are you telling yourself, or nebulous futures do you imagine? How does your life end when your worries take over?

Martin Seligman, a social psychologist and author of the book “Learned Optimism,” says that optimists are defined as people who come back stronger after defeat.

If you believe that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and resurrected to bring new life to you, then my friend, you subscribe to a theology that hinges on coming back stronger. Which means that worry is nothing more than a lie that gets in your way, slows you down, and prevents you from living out the redemption, possibility, and blessing that God has for you. Root yourself deep in the truth that God promises to never leave you or forsake you (Jos. 1:5). Remember, God is good, and He is for you. Claim the optimism and hope that was given to you in resurrection and redemption. Don’t waste your life in fear and worry when you have a God who is in the business of renewal, rescue, hope, and possibility.