The World's a Mess Can You Be Positive

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The World's a Mess Can You Be Positive

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Given the world in which we live, with the deteriorating global economy, the increasing conflicts between nations and the endless fear of terrorism in regions around the globe, it would seem that these are impossible times for optimism. Some would even say you'd have to be insane to be positive at a time like this!

So what about you, your family, your friends? Are worry, concern and pessimism affecting your view of life in today's world?

Many think the real choice is between two mutually exclusive options: being either a blind optimist or a hardened pessimist. However, a further look at the facts (including the Bible) will help us understand that there's a positive choice involving neither of those two options. That third choice is being a hopeful, informed and optimistic realist!

The key word here is hope. However, meaningful hope must be based on fact and conviction to be of any value. These days, too many people have ideas and opinions about this world and its troubles that don't offer a lot a hope. But hope that is based on facts enables a person to look at the future with some optimism, with an understanding and deep conviction that things will get better because God says so!

Do you want to have genuine optimism about life and the future? If your answer is "yes," then reflect on these three action steps toward a positive outlook:

1. Believe God's promise: "All things work together for good."

History reveals that life for the true Christian in Rome during the first century was quite difficult. The problems included a tough economy, legal slave trade, gambling and sex trade, pagan worship and persecution. Yet through it all, Paul said, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28, emphasis added).

Revealing why he was so positive, Paul cited God's promise of a better future (Romans 8:18-25). Considering the difficult times in which we now live, God also says to us (as Paul did to the church at Rome) that there is hope. God promises a better future. But what is behind that promise?

2. Discover that the future will be better—not worse!

God's Word shows us that we live in a world with an immediate future that isn't pretty. Look around, and you'll see the evidence everywhere.

Almost 2,000 years ago on the Mount of Olives, on the east side of Jerusalem, Jesus Christ told His disciples that in our generation man's troubles would increase: "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened" (Matthew 24:21-22). This is a pretty nasty description.

God's Word also reveals that much of humanity's efforts to solve its problems will, in the short term, end in failure. While current efforts to prop up the worldwide financial system might work in the short term, the longer range prospects are not good.

But here's the key: The Bible also reveals that the return of Jesus Christ will take place to clean up the mess! His arrival will usher in the only hope for humanity being saved from itself. The apostle Paul refers to Jesus Christ as "our hope" in 1 Timothy 1:1. The hope that Jesus Christ will bring is that of a new government based on the spiritual laws of God, administered by those whom God calls now, in this life.

Imagine...a utopia of real peace! The prophet Isaiah was allowed to see, in vision, the beginning stages of this divine government in action.

In Isaiah 2:2-3 we read: "Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.' For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."

Think about a time in the future when most people will choose to obey laws that will lead to cooperation and peace. This will be a time when most will seek understanding and direction from their Creator about His law and its application to life. What a change that will be!

The Bible also shows that the nations will eventually choose to learn and apply the way of peace. They will no longer teach the way of greed or practice the carnage of human violence that has defined humanity's efforts to solve its problems over the millennia.

As the prophet Isaiah explains, "He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore" (Isaiah 2:4).

3. Remember God's promise: "I'll never leave you!"

In the midst of our world's troubles—economic failure, terrorism, disease, social unrest and moral decadence—God promises to be with us. In Hebrews 13:5-6 we read, "Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.' So we may boldly say: 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?'"

The Bible also tells us that when evil comes, God will see us through. As the prophet Isaiah revealed to ancient Israel, "In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you" (Isaiah 54:14).

The same is true for us today. God can protect us, and we need not fear! So our ability to reap true hope and optimism is based on our personal efforts to understand and live God's way!

The future of mankind is hopeful! There is much to be thankful for! While the darkness before the dawn may be sobering, God has a plan that is more optimistic than anyone could imagine! To read more about this hope-filled future, read or request our free booklet The Gospel of the Kingdom.

Though we live in this troubled world, we don't have to be troubled in mind or heart. There is a way of life that provides joy, happiness and real hope for the future. Don't become overly fearful about the troubling events in the world that you cannot control. Take advantage of the opportunities God gives you to understand His plan and serve Him. Believe God's promise to His people:

"Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid...for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you" (Deuteronomy 31:6). VT