Week 1 – I’M OPTIMISTIC
November 15, 2015 Dr. With
We are starting a brand new message series called Stay Positive. I think, honestly, one of the reasons I’m so excited about this message series, if I can be honest, is because I really need it. It’s amazing how quickly, like so many people, I can drift into negativity.
- Excited about message series—I need it!
In fact, how many of you at our church would agree that around the world today, there’s almost an epidemic of negativity, just people looking at things, seeing the downside over and over and over again? It rained last Monday and I was all excited we were finally getting some water…I came down to find the joy of the news reporters to see how happy they were…they were saying it was terrible and dangerous and hope it stopped!!! But I think new has to be negative or people wouldn’t watch…
- Epidemic of negativism
- Self talk—Don’t have what it takes.
- My life stinks—Things bad getting worse.
- Economy doomed—Families falling apart—School systems stink
- Churches dying—Teens a mess—Shootings all over America
- Gov spraying poison crops—Hell hand basket
- Financial stress
27 If you search for good, you will find favor; but if you search for evil, it will find you! Proverbs 11:27
Cynicism and negativity may be the easy choice, but they’re not the best choice. If you seek what’s good, you’ll see what’s good. Let’s embrace the way we’re created to think and Stay Positive.
7 You love justice and hate evil. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you,
pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else. Psalms 45:7
I must add a note. When I heard that we had to move, the letter was really a mistake from the realtor, and they apologized, but I was down and out and shared some frustration with Family and friends and went to bed and … incredible joy in the morning.
4 week series on Staying Positive:
2. Grateful (Nov 22)
3. Encouraging (Nov 29)
4. Generous (Dec 6) or Enthusiastic or Confident
B. Optimism—I’m optimistic!
- Optimist: My cup is running over—God is blessing me!
- Pessimist: My cup is running over—There’s going to be a mess!
Funny—Some already decided you don’t like this series—church.
Music is too loud—Don’t like the preacher!
Don’t like positive thinking! New age—Feel good preaching.
Listen to this…
- I’M NOT OPTIMISTIC BASED ON WHAT I FEEL .
- I’M OPTIMISTIC BASED ON WHAT GOD SAYS .
C. 8 REASONS I’M OPTIMISTIC FROM ROMANS 8
+ Paul wrote this letter to the Roman Believers in the first century.
+ These Christ Followers were under persecution, struggle and poverty.
- Paul wrote to strengthen and encourage these Christ Followers.
Okay, 8 Reasons I’m Optimistic From Romans 8
Now, I’ll be really honest with you. I found 23 reasons in Romans 8 that I was optimistic. I thought if I give you all 23, you will fall asleep and be a pessimist forever.
Reason number one I’m optimistic from Romans 8 is this. Because my sins are forgiven and my eternity is secure. I’m absolutely and completely eternally optimistic because my sins are forgiven and my eternity is secure.
- MY SINS ARE FORGIVEN AND MY ETERNITY IS SECURE.
1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. Romans 8:1-2
a. If you are in Sin —Call on him!
b. Forgiven! Forgiven of a lot!
12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. Psalm 103:12
Optimistic—My sins are forgiven—my eternity is secure!
2) MY MIND IS FILLED WITH THE PEACE OF GOD.
6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace Romans 8:6
a. His Peace surpasses all understanding.
b. I don’t travel well. I get so bored driving up highway 5. It was raining, Sunday about 5 pm and about 40 – 50 miles an hour for 2 hours…yikes…kill me now. I don’t travel well. Then as I dig deeper into negativity and traffic and new buildings for the church and everything else, God shows up. Right there on Highway 5 in some town like Chowchilla and Los Banos…God just renews my mind with his peace…just a Steve take over.
What if you learned to travel well?
God’s word renews your mind and you stop thinking the negative, earthly, sinful thoughts and instead you get an eternal perspective based on God’s truth. Suddenly, when we see things from God’s perspective, because of his goodness, because of his strength and the way he can bring glory to his name out of even the worst situations, in the middle of a trial, you can have a supernatural peace that goes beyond your human ability to understand.
3) MY FUTURE GLORY IS GREATER THAN MY PRESENT PAIN.
18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. Romans 8:18
- James—I can consider it pure joy when I face trial
I don’t know who it is right now that you’re in the middle of something difficult. I’m not going to say that it’s not difficult because it can be very difficult. But from the eternal perspective, it’s not even worth comparing what we’re going through now. To the eternal glory of what our God, whose name is above every name, can do through our pain. Even James said that we can consider it crazy, pure joy. My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds … Why? Because the testing of your faith develops perseverance, that you would be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
- Testing of faith produces perseverance—mature —not lacking anything!
- Not even worth comparing to the glory—How God is using this conform us!
Suddenly, when we see things from God’s perspective, because of his goodness, because of his strength and the way he can bring glory to his name out of even the worst situations, in the middle of a trial, you can have a supernatural peace that goes beyond your human ability to understand.
4) GOD’S SPIRIT HELPS ME IN WEAKNESS.
24 Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. Romans 8:24-26
- Down—he holds me up!
- Hurting —he’s my comfort.
- Weak—he is strong!
Optimistic—on a bad day—I get to know him better!
Why? Because his spirit is strong for me when I’m weak.
Why am I optimistic? Not just because of what I feel, but because of what God says.
5) GOD’S WORKING EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE FOR GOOD.
28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Ro 8:28
- Devil meant for evil—God used for good.
- Someone hurt me—Forgive.
- Lost job—better job.
Sometimes you don’t feel him. Sometimes you don’t see him. Sometimes you think he’s not working, but faith tells you that he’s there. Faith tells you I can trust in him because he knows the end from the beginning. Long before tomorrow ever starts, he’s already there. He knows how things work out and he is so amazingly good and so powerful that he is working in all things. I hope this speaks to somebody. The very thing that’s crushing your heart right now, one day you’ll see the faithfulness of God. You can be optimistic because God is so amazing. He’s working in all things to bring about good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose.
6) IF GOD IS FOR ME—WHO CAN BE AGAINST ME?
32 If God is for us, who can be against us? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Romans 8:32-33
a. Someone doesn’t like you—Criticizes you—Shoots you downIf
- God is for you—what does it matter?
- God is in Charge
If your Dad owned the department store—I’m with the boss! If boss is for me—what employee can be against me.
7) JESUS IS AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD PRAYING FOR ME.
34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Romans 8:34
- Jesus, Son of God—sitting at right hand!
- Paul Jensen
I know a guy, his name is Paul Jensen. I’ve never heard anybody pray like Paul. When Paul prays, it’s like Heaven opens up. He has a prayer voice. He binds up bad things, he loosens good things, he shouts at the devil. I’m telling you, the devil runs. I’d run if I were the devil. Paul is so powerful, if I were God, I’d be like, “Ooo. Paul’s praying. Angels, be quiet. Paul’s praying.” He’s that good.
One time I was going through a hard time and Paul just came up to me and said, “Steve, I want you to know, I’m going to be praying for you.” Then, he said, “Do you mind if I pray for you right now?” Like, “Okay. Okay. Okay.” He put his prayer hand on my shoulder. Okay, There it is. He just starts praying. “God heard that.” Then Paul looked at me, said, “I want you to know, I’m going to be praying for you morning, noon, and night.” Like, “This thing’s so in the bag. Paul is praying for me.”
Well I have good news for you, you have someone infinity stronger and more power than Paul standing next to God praying for you. Jesus is sitting at the of honor before God, pleading and praying for us. Now that’s awesome.
8) NOTHING CAN SEPARATE ME FROM LOVE OF GOD.
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love ofGod that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
- No matter where I go—My God is there !
- No matter what I do—He still loves me!
- No matter what happens to me—He is for me!
How to be Optimistic: Listen, read, study, the Word of God
what did it teach us today…
Optimistic: Not because of what I see—because of what God says!
- My sins are forgiven
- My mind is filled with peace of God
- My present sufferings not worth my present pain
- God’s Spirit helps me in weakness.
- God is working everything for good
- My God is for me
- Jesus is at the right hand of God
- Nothing can separate me from His love