Pessimism – Two toddlers filled with natural curiosity approach a dog for the first time.
The dog is the dog allows himself to be hugged by the first child and playfully licks the little boys face… he giggles with delight.
The second dog has never been around children before. As the child #2 reaches out the dog growls and snaps at the toddler leaving a little blood and enough fear of dogs to last the rest of his life.
Before we can be optimistic we have to understand where our fears come from. The above illustration will cause both children to draw some conclusions about the nature of dogs that may not be true. In reality, depending on breed or circumstances, most dogs are friendly. However we are wise not too make to many assumptions about how they will react to strangers. Correct?
Life is like… the scenario above. Most of us have been bitten by some circumstance and we naturally project those experiences into our future. Christians can even magnify this “projection” phenomena because we often assume God is behind our circumstances. It’s fairly common to see believers retreat from life’s opportunities due the risks they perceive. Let’s illustration with another example:
What if we lived in the days of Noah but missed the fact that God was planning a flood to bring judgment on the earth. Simple, we would be treading water. Noah’s flood is a historic fact of God’s sovereign power. However, if we assume that every flood is the judgment of God we would also be “treading water.” Every bad circumstance would paralyze us with fear.
Here’s the Biblical “middle” ground. God is powerful enough to intervene at any scale he chooses. However, the vast majority of life’s events don’t carry a hidden message of God’s intentions. “Sovereignty” means that God has the power to intervene in any way He chooses. However, that doesn’t mean He has pre-scripted every detail of our future. Good and bad things happen to all of us. Victorious Christians who are handed lemons in life simply start making lemonade. Everybody else is left with a sour taste… and a little tendency to hold back from God’s destiny on their life… a tendency to “project pessimism” into their future.
Eureka – I love the component of live conferences that allows us to interact with people. I’m also amazed at the level of healing (tears and laughter) that flow when people get a picture of what God wants to do in their life or business. I wouldn’t normally expect a talk on marketplace ministry to touch people that deeply. Here’s why the message is profound.
Most of us have been knocked around enough by life that we just can’t project ourselves into that 100 fold category. We all feel a little failure… a little rejection from God. Somehow the Holy Spirit gets past our minds and talks to our hearts. That’s when we start to believe the true nature of God. We transition from the projections rooted in our past experiences to the present reality of God’s personal love for us and the magnitude of his destiny on our life. We start to see ourselves having the favor of “Kings” in God’s eyes.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us Eph 3:20 KJV
Here’s an excerpt from an email that articulates what many felt.
I am reading your book (Desire to Destiny) and doing the homework in place of my daily devotions and it is making me weep uncontrollably…. almost every day. Some of the things you kind of skimmed over, are ‘in my face’ in detail as I am going through the book and the questions, which I am answering in a journal, are revealing many things about the lies I have believed and the places in which I have held back…
No Longer Holding Back – Here’s the “take home” message. We can accomplish everything God has called us to do. We just can’t read failure into every setback or ” I can’t miss” into every victory. On the way to experiencing the fullness of our calling or destiny in God, life is filled with both successes and failures. Our job is to find the opportunity in every circumstance and make the best out of it. Christians “float.” Even in tragedy we have access to resurrection power to redeem death back to life. “In all these things we are more than conquerors.” (Rom 8:37)
What’s the reason for optimism? Kings that understand the magnitude of their destiny in Christ coupled with the character consistency to handle the ups and downs of life – warfare. They are emotionally free to rejoice in triumph and shed a tear during setbacks. Regardless of what just happened (good or bad), their eye is on Jesus; their expectation is on His abundance.
Life is an adventure. People are a blessing. God is amazing. We’re winning.