HANDOUT FOR SERMON: Christian Optimism, People of Purpose, Hope and Joy. May 28th, 2023 Manchester, Tn.
Introduction: How do you feel spiritually? Do you feel you are not good enough? Do you get frustrated with your Christian walk or with others walk? You may struggle with discouragement and despondency as these are a part of this world. That is the very reason Christians need to focus more on God and find the joy and optimism that Jesus Christ brought into our sin filled world. I am an optimist not because I blindly hope, nor am I an optimist because I believe in our own unlimited ability to solve all our problems. I am an optimist because I believe in God. Jesus Christ gives me the reason for hope, optimism and joy even though things are not always great!
Optimism and pessimism are mindsets. The way of thinking and seeing things. Optimists see the positive sides of things. They expect things to turn out well.
The main message of the Bible, God’s word- is hope, happiness and optimism. Scripture: Philippians 4:11-13, Matthew 6:22-23 Spiritual optimism is seeing the hand of God as always providing for us, protecting us and guiding us. We are never alone!
Define optimism: Hopefulness and confidence about the future, hopeful and confident of a successful outcome of something, anticipating the best possible outcome.
1.GOD DESIGNED US TO LIVE WITH HOPE. God has revealed Himself to us. Once we truly understanding the nature and power of God we then trust in Him and we also find tremendous hope in Him.
Define hope: to cherish a desire with anticipation, to want something to happen or be true, to trust, to expect with confidence.
Scripture: Romans 15:13, Romans 8:23-25 & 18, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Hebrews 10:28, Proverbs 3:5-6, Luke 12:30-31, 1 Peter 5:7
2.BELIEVE IN THE POWER AND WORKING OF GOD IN OUR LIVES TODAY. We must have faith and that faith will lead us to be obedient and strive to live lives that please God, however, we are still dependent on our Heavenly Father for help!
Scripture: Philippians 4:6-7 & 19, Proverbs 21:2, Jeremiah 17:9-10, Psalm 51:10, Ezekiel 36:26, Psalm 27:13-14, Philippians 2:13, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Hebrews 4:12
God is even working when you are asking questions! Humble yourself before the Lord and trust Him. Allow Him to lead you. Trust Him to lead you out of the fire! Don’t turn away from God’s advice and protection.
3.THE NEED FOR US FOR A SPIRITUAL RESTORATION, RECOVERY AND RECYCLING. Illustration: Soil restoration. (Parable of the Sower) Our soil becomes depleted, polluted and in need of great repair. If we neglect the soil and turn a blind eye to the depletion that will happen over time, production eventually ceases! So it is with our hearts and lives.
John 15:5 we know Jesus has clear instruction and demands: “bear much fruit.”
So what must we do to restore, repair and recondition our hearts?
Scripture: Proverbs 21:2, Jeremiah 17:9-10, Psalm 51:10, Ezekiel 11:19, Luke 8:15, Hebrews 4:12, 1
Scripture about change: Corinthians 6:9-11 & 20, Romans 12;1, 2 Corinthians 3:18, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 5:22-23, Matthew 4:17
- REMOVAL STAGE: there are elements in our hearts and lives that must be removed! Romans 6:6, Colossians 3:9-10, 1 Peter 2:1
- CLEANSING STAGE: some things must be soaked in water and washed. We must recognize we are “dirty,” “lacking” or non-productive. Acknowledgement of our need to be purified. Isaiah 1:16, Ezekiel 36:24-25, Romans 12:21, 2 Corinthians 7:1
- ADDITION STAGE: Removal of pollutants and “trash” in our lives is not enough. We must add good things to our hearts in order to be productive as Christ anticipates. Luke 17:4, 2 Peter 1:5-8, Philippians 4:8
- GOD SUPPLIES: We have to have the will to be cleansed and refurbished but we can not do it on our own strength and abilities, we need God’s help and strength. 2 Corinthians 9:10, John 15:5, Philippians 4:13, 2 Thessalonians 3:3, 1 Peter 4:11
So, in your discouragement and despair – please remember if you are a child of God, a Christian, you have every reason to be optimistic, hopeful, cheerful and joyous.
Become an example to all others in your life.
- 1 Timothy 4:15 Be diligent in these matter, give yourself wholly to them so that everyone may see your progress.
- Philippians 1:9 And this is my prayer, that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.
- James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.