Do We Expect the Best or Do We Expect the Worst?

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities 

It might just be me, but this quote makes me think about the time that we are currently living in. Dickens published his book in 1859, but this quote somehow reminds me of the nonsense that appears to be going on all around us. It just seems like we are living in the age of foolishness, the season of darkness, and the winter of despair. I admit that this thought seems a bit pessimistic, but when we get up each day, do we expect the best or do we expect the worst?

An optimist expects the best where as a pessimist expects the worst. And yes, there are times when I am one or the other, but to be totally honest, I suspect there are those times when I might actually be both at the same time. It could be a stretch, but my guess is that someone reading this article might have had a similar simultaneous optimistic/pessimistic experience.

Ideally, we should strive to be an optimist at all times, but there are those times when we let pessimism creep into our thoughts and behavior.

1 John 5:4-5

4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

So, how do I stop being a pessimist and rid myself of a pessimistic attitude? The short answer is through prayer.

1 Thessalonians 5:15-18

15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 

In addition to prayer, we might also try thinking about the positive rather than dwelling on the negative. Not always an easy thing to do, but with practice, I believe that we can actually convince ourselves to be more optimistic. After all, it is difficult to be a pessimist when we believe there is an everlasting home waiting for us!

So, do you expect the best or do you expect the worst?

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