God's Gift to Us
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sermon: Christian Optimism

A Positive Attitude Has Great Benefits
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Given 03-Sep-16; Sermon #1339; 74 minutes

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Richard Ritenbaugh, cuing in Psalm 118, the sixth and final halal or pilgrimage psalm, proclaiming, "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad," emphasizes that this prophetic psalm, demonstrating God's sovereignty over all events, motivates us to have optimism, realizing that God can make lemonade out of any lemon. The miracle of our calling demonstrates God can take something weak and base and transform it into something strong and mighty. The late Norman Vincent Peale in his runaway best—seller The Power of Positive Thinking stressed that optimism provides multiple physiological and psychological benefits over pessimism, enhancing a person's quality of life. Dr. Suzanne Segerstrom added that optimistic people have better control of their emotions, are better communicators, get more done, are more resilient during hardship, and are focused on their goals. The spiritual benefits of optimism transcend the physical benefits, enabling us to see the big picture, the trek to eternal life. When adversity strikes, we can see its context in God's eternal plan, enabling us to see that with grounded optimism, effort, and God's help, we can conquer any obstacle. When the Lord lifts His countenance upon us, it serves as a counterweight to any doom and gloom we may currently experience. The entire creation groans in futility anticipating the arrival of the sons of God, following the pattern of Jesus Christ's transformation from flesh to spirit. The apostle Paul wrote some of his most optimistic and buoyant letters from prison, anticipating the possibility of execution, but absolutely convinced that ultimate victory was imminent. We need to have that same assurance in our current trials, exercising the same optimism, confidence, patience, joy, and a hope that will not fade away.

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Benefits of optimism Big picture Cortisol response Creation groans Creation waiting for the sons of God Death hormone I Peter John 13-16 Laughter Lemons into lemonade Optimism Patience Philippians 1:10; 3:1-8, 20-24; 16:7 Positive attitude Positive Thinking - Lewis & Clark Positive thinking movement Psalm 4; 118 : 22-24 II Corinthians 6:15 Spirit helps us in our weaknesses The Power of Positive Thinking ~ Norman Vincent Peale Revelation 21 Romans 8:18-28 Sunny personalities This too shall pass

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