There is much said today about improving our health by developing habits of optimism, whether facing a difficult medical diagnosis or a pile of dirty laundry. Barbara Fredrickson, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of North Carolina, says we should try activities that build joy, gratitude, love, and other positive feelings.
We know, however, that more is required than a general wish for good feelings. We need a strong conviction that there is a source of joy, peace, and love, upon which we can depend.
Psalm 37:1-8 gives positive actions we can take as an antidote of pessimism and discouragement. Consider these mood boosters:
- Trust in the Lord, do good, dwell in the land, enjoy safe pasture (V.3);
- Delight in the Lord (V.4);
- Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him (V.5);
- Be still before the Lord, wait patiently for Him, do not fret (V.7);
- Refrain from anger, turn from wrath (V.8)
Because they are connected to the phrase “in the Lord,” those directives are more than wishful thinking or unrealistic suggestions. It’s because of Jesus, and in His strength, that they become possible.
Our one true source of optimism is the redemption that is in Jesus. He is our reason for hope!
Lord, we can’t manufacture hope, and even if we tried it wouldn’t be real. Help us to find hope in You because of what Jesus has done for us. We know You are walking beside us.
When there’s bad news, our hope is the good news of Jesus.