"But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." - Romans 8:25 NIV
Pessimism - an inclination to emphasize adverse aspects, conditions, and possibilities or to expect the worst possible outcome; a tendency to stress the negative or unfavorable or to take the gloomiest possible view; the doctrine or belief that the evil in the world outweighs the good.
Pessimism - just the sound of it is ugly but the definition is even worse. Since I'm usually an optimist, the idea of spending my life expecting the worst possible outcome is not something I can totally comprehend. And believing the evil in the world outweighs the good....NEVER!! That may be all we see and hear about on the news - which is why I don't watch it - but I truly believe that my God is in charge of this world and He outweighs ALL evil!!
However, there are times when pessimism does take hold of me. And it's usually this time of year. My idea of Christmas used to be a tree with presents stacked floor to ceiling (I'm exaggerating a bit here), tons of food, laughter, spending time with family and friends, having fun. Last Christmas was tough. Money was tight so there weren't as many presents as I wanted under the tree. There weren't alot of parties because people didn't feel like celebrating too much. I didn't enjoy the holidays because I was too busy being pessimistic about things not being the way I wanted them to be for the holiday. I wanted things back to the way they used to be (actually, the way I perceived they used to be). But, this year, God has given me an attitude adjustment.
It's not something that just happened. It's been a learning process all year long. It's been prayer, Bible study, more prayer, more Bible study. It's been talking with God and with other people who are or have been where I'm at. It's been a conscious decision to live this verse in Romans and wait patiently, with hope, for what I do not yet have but which God has promised me. It's standing on His promises, knowing that I have a God who can do the impossible, knowing He will take care of me and give me the strength, wisdom, hope and joy to face all circumstances in my life. This Christmas, pessimism has no foothold in my thoughts or my heart.
Jesus IS the reason for this season...not spending money I don't have on a ton of gifts that will be broken or forgotten within days. I've always known that we celebrate Christ's birth on Christmas but this year I KNOW...deep, deep down...that Jesus is the true blessing and gift that I should celebrate. I have felt this so deeply this year that I put up my Christmas decorations in early November because I felt I was going to burst with the hope and joy He brings. My attitude adjustment has brought many blessings already...no worries over not having enough under the tree (whatever God provides will be plenty); so many parties to attend and friends to enjoy; having fun just looking forward to the surprises I know God will provide; and peace, blessed peace, knowing that the person we are celebrating has given us the best gift of all - eternal life.
So I just have to ask: do you need an attitude adjustment? Does this time of year bring out the pessimist in you? If so, ask God to help you and wait patiently for Him to do so. It will happen...I'm speaking from experience!!
"God gives us hopes and dreams for certain things to happen in our lives, but He doesn't always allow us to see the exact timing of His plan." - Joyce Meyer
Amazing God, thank You for the attitude adjustment You've given me this year. You have blessed me with so much...a home when others are homeless, a wonderful family, friends that I love spending time with and the best gift of all - Your Son, Jesus Christ. My hope is in You, Lord, and I wait patiently for Your timing in my life. Thank You for true peace and joy during this time of year. If there are any of my friends or family needing an "attitude adjustment", may they find it in You, dear God. I pray all this in Jesus' precious name, Amen.