August 5

Psalm 85:11-13

“The Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase. Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps.” vss. 12-13

Some days it feels good to engage with “relentless optimism” like that exhibited by the psalmist as he surveyed the scene in Jerusalem so many years ago. There was really no historical basis for what he said, and the geo-politics of his time was anything but encouraging. But he chose to be hopeful–and people loved his words. Optimists are a rare presence in our plague-ridden, divisive times, and their comments are regularly derided and ridiculed as being childish and naive. It seems people would rather hear predictions of gloom and doom! Now admittedly there are times when the signs of the times are bleak and foreboding, and it can be wise to pay attention to such forecasts. But followers of Jesus will always have at their core a sense that the best is yet to come, that one day righteousness and justice will triumph and all lands will be filled with goodness. When we can regularly present that optimistic spirit in our encounters with others, they will be touched and changed. The hopeless and despairing will be lifted by the light they see in our eyes and the hope they hear in our words. Genuine smiles have incredible power and make an amazing difference for good in every place and at every time.

Thought for the Day: How can a natural pessimist show an optimistic spirit?

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