I believe the Bible is the most realistically positive book in existence. What I mean is, it’s not full of empty, fluffy sayings that don’t hold water in real life. Instead, the Bible is honest with us about sin and about limitations, but offers us the hope of a reconciled life, a reborn life, a redeemed life.
Anyone who believes in Jesus absolutely can do anything God calls or commands them to do. And our future is definitely bright. While the universe slowly winds down like a clock, we look forward to the renovation and refreshing of all of creation and an eternity in the presence of an ever-loving God.
The Bible tells us that we who are in Christ are more than conquerors. We are overcomers. We are winners.
Having said all of that, the Bible gives us this hopeful optimism in perfect balance with the reality that life will be hard, too. The economy will have its ups and downs. The culture will not maintain consistent values over time. The world changes. Nations and powers rise and fall. Disease and death are a part of life.
So life is hard. God is good. We win in the end.
And it’s when we forget that life can be hard that we set ourselves up for spiritual disappointment. Personally, I’m concerned with the number of accounts on social media designed to just issue a constant stream of blindly positive messages that sound personal, but really aren’t personal or trustworthy.
Your day is coming – God is already working it out! But what if his plan allows you to grow through more suffering?
Your ship is about to come in – God’s about to make a deposit! But what if you’re about to be downsized so God can birth a new dream through the discomfort?
God has a soul mate out there for you, perfectly fitted to be your one! But what if God desires that you remain single for his purposes?
I believe it’s important to believe God for his very best and to keep our faith strong, press onward, and claim all of his promises that are intended for us. But I also believe in the necessity of realistic expectations. So words of knowledge and prophecy should be tested, checked, and offered with the belief that in the end, God will do what is best for his own glory.
Jesus told his disciples,
I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.
~ John 16:33 MSG
And his words ring true today. You can trust him. And when you do, you will be unshakable, even when you walk through hard, hard days. Why? Because even though you walk through temporary disappointments and setbacks, Jesus Christ has already overcome the greatest obstacles and enemies you’ll ever face.
The best thing you can do is keep following him even when the unexpected happens. He will carry you through those hard days to victory!