It’s hard to always find the good in things. Sometimes it’s easy to fall into negative thinking. Yet we all long to feel happier and more upbeat, especially in these trying times. Listen to Craig Groeschel talk about how to stay positive and optimistic | top questions and answers.
Today, the theme I want to talk about is optimism. We will be touching on the following questions and answers. Scroll down below the questions and answers to watch the video.
How to Stay Positive and Optimistic | Top Questions and Answers.
- Question 1: How Can My Sins Be Forgiven?
- Answer: I’m optimistic because my sins are forgiven and my eternity is secure because Jesus paid for all of it for me and for you. To find out how to have your sins forgiven, watch the “Great News” video at the top of this page.
- Question 2: Does Jesus Pray for Me?
- Answer: I’m optimistic is because Jesus is at the right hand of God praying for me.
- Question 3: How Can My Present Pain Make My Future Positive?
- Answer: I am optimistic because my future victory is greater than my present pain.
- Question 4: Can God’s Peace Provide Joy and Optimistic Outlook?
- Answer: Why am I optimistic? I am optimistic because my mind is filled with the peace of God.
- Question 5: If God is For Me, Who Can be Against Me?
- Answer: Fifth reason I’m optimistic from Romans 8 is because of this. If God is for me, who can ever be against me?
- Question 6: How Can I Have a Strong and Positive Spirit?
- Answer: I’m optimistic because God’s spirit helps me in my weakness.
- Question 7: Can I Trust God to Make Good Things Happen in My Life?
- Answer: I’m optimistic because my God is working everything in my life for good.
- Question 8: How Can I Know that God Loves Me?
- Answer: Why I’m optimistic. With everything in me, I am full of optimism because nothing can separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.
- Question 9: How Can I Be an Optimistic Person?
- Answer: I am optimistic, not because of what I feel or not even because of what I see. I’m optimistic because of what God says.
Craig Groeschel talks about How to Stay Positive and Optimistic | Top Questions and Answers. You will be glad you took a few minutes to listen to this talk.
How Can I Focus on the Positive Instead of the Negative?
I’ve titled this message I’m Optimistic. Could you look at the person sitting next to you and say, “I don’t know about you, but I’m optimistic.” Now, look at the person who is your second choice and say, “I’m sorry, I like you too.” Don’t be negative. “I like you too.” Right. Listen to Craig Groeschel talk about how to stay positive and optimistic | top questions and answers.
It’s interesting in a world, some people are more naturally optimistic. Some are more naturally pessimistic. An optimist will read the verse “my cup overflows” and they’ll say, “The Lord is blessing me.” A pessimist will say, “My cup overflows. Lord, there’s going to be mess in the house today.” How many of you know somebody like the second one?
All over the world today, it seems like people are looking for a reason to be critical.
They’re looking for a reason to be negative. It’s almost as if it helps people feel better to be incredibly negative. Think about what you hear all the time. Even in your own self-talk, without knowing it, you can talk down to yourself, saying, “I don’t have what it takes. My life stinks. I can’t stand where I am in life.”
Literally, we say that to ourselves over and over and over again until we almost talk ourselves into having a bad life. You talk to people all over today and they’re going to comment on all the negative things. “The economy is doomed. Morals are falling apart. The school systems stink. You can’t trust anybody. Churches are dying right and left. Teenagers. Don’t even get me started on the teenagers. The government is spraying poison on our crops. The world is going to hell in a hand basket and somebody’s got to do something about it.”
The reality is there are a lot of things going wrong in the world. There’s no doubt about it. We as Jesus followers are not going to put our heads in the sand and pretend like there’s not things going wrong.
At the same time, God is doing a lot of amazing things all over the world.
While there are things going wrong, there are so many things going right. We will often find what we are looking for. In fact, I’ve talked about this before, but I just love the illustration of two different types of birds. You take a buzzard and a hummingbird. Every single day, what does a buzzard find? A buzzard swerves around and finds dead things. Every single day, what does a hummingbird find? Sweet things, day after day, proving you will always find what you look for. That’s just not a cheesy pastor illustration. In fact, scripture actually teaches that very same principle.
Listen to Craig Groeschel talk about how to stay positive and optimistic | top questions and answers.
In Proverbs 11:27, Solomon said this. Somebody help me out. He said, “If you search for good …” What will you find? ” … You will find favor. But if you search for evil …” What’s going to happen? ” … It’s going to find you.” You want to find the negative, you want to be miserable, you can search for it and you can find it.
But if you search for the good, you can also find that as well.
What’s funny to me is that there are probably some of you already, you already decided you don’t like this message series. In fact, you don’t like the church. Why? The music’s too loud. You don’t like the stupid preacher on the video screen. “I’m never going to a church with a preacher on a video screen. I don’t like this new age, positive, feelgood, mega church pastor preaching. Okay. I want something real. I don’t want feel good preaching.”
I am not optimistic based on what I feel. I’m optimistic based on what God says.
What I want you to understand is I’m not just coming at this from a pop psychology, talk yourself into a positive stance theology at all. In fact, if you’re taking notes, I would love for you to write this down. I am not optimistic based on what I feel. I’m optimistic based on what God says. I want you to hear this. I am not optimistic just because by nature I just feel like everything’s going to get better just because I happen to show up. I’m not optimistic based on a feeling, I’m optimistic based on a truth. I’m not optimistic based on what I feel, I’m optimistic based on what God says.
What I want to do is I want to give you 8 different reasons why I’m optimistic from the book of Romans chapter 8. Now, I’ll be really honest with you. I found 23 reasons in Romans 8 that I was optimistic. I thought if I give you all 23, you will fall asleep and be a pessimist forever. I worked really, really hard to narrow it down to just 8, because besides being long.
Listen to Craig Groeschel talk about how to stay positive and optimistic | top questions and answers.
9 reasons I’m optimistic from Romans 8 sounds so much cooler than 23 reasons I’m optimistic from Romans 8. What I want to do is just from one chapter in the Bible, one chapter from the entire Bible, show you reasons why I’m optimistic and you should be too. Not based on what we feel, but based on what our God says. 8’s a lot. I call this kind of a machine gun message. I’m going to be shooting fast. If you’re ready at all of our churches to listen, everybody say, “I’m ready.” Are you ready? Say it. Somebody in Florida, come on, you guys are more excited than that. If you’re ready, say, “I’m ready.” One, two, three. I’m ready. Let’s dive in.
1. How Can My Sins Be Forgiven?
Answer: I’m optimistic because my sins are forgiven and my eternity is secure.
I’m absolutely and completely eternally optimistic because my sins are forgiven and my eternity is secure. Verses 1 and 2, Paul said, “Therefore, there is now …” What? Somebody with a smile on your face. “… There is no condemnation.” For whom? Not for everybody, but for those who are in Christ Jesus. Because through Christ Jesus, the law of the spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For those of you who have called on Jesus, you’ve been made new in Christ, your sins are forgiven and your eternity is secure.
I don’t know about you. I can’t speak for you, but I have been forgiven of a lot, therefore this makes me incredibly optimistic about the goodness of my Lord God who shed his blood that I could be forgiven, set aside Jesus to die for me. He was risen from the dead so I could be made new and it makes me optimistic to know that my sins are forgiven and my eternity is secure.
Listen to Craig Groeschel talk about how to stay positive and optimistic | top questions and answers.
2. Does Jesus Pray for Me?
Answer: I’m optimistic because Jesus is at the right hand of God praying for me.
Wow. I don’t know about you, but the thought that Jesus is praying for me makes me eternally optimistic. In fact, verse 34 says,
“Christ Jesus who died more than that, who was raised to life, is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”Romans 8:34
You may say, “What does it mean to intercede?”
That’s just kind of like a really cool word that means he’s praying for us. He’s in deep prayer for us at the right hand of the father. Now, I don’t know if you get excited when someone who seems spiritual powerful prays for you, but I do. I don’t know if you know somebody like this.
I know a guy, his name is Larry. I’ve never heard anybody pray like Larry. When Larry prays, it’s like Heaven opens up. He has a prayer voice. He binds up bad things, he loosens good things, he shouts at the devil. I’m telling you, the devil runs. I’d run if I were the devil. Larry is so powerful, if I were God, I’d be like, “Ooo. Larry’s praying. Angels, be quiet. Larry’s praying.” He’s that good.
Someone praying for you increases optimism
One time I was going through a hard time and Larry just came up to me and said, “Craig, I want you to know, I’m going to be praying for you.” Then, he said, “Do you mind if I pray for you right now?” Like, “Okay. Okay. Okay.” He put his prayer hand on my shoulder. Okay. Not just a regular hand, heavy, powerful, hot prayer hand. I’m like, “Ooo.” On my shoulder. Then he put his other hand up toward Heaven like a satellite dish looking for the … There it is. He just starts praying. I’m telling you it’s like sometimes you feel things, sometimes you don’t, it doesn’t really matter if you feel things, but it’s really cool when you do. Like, “God heard that.” Then Larry looked at me, said, “I want you to know, I’m going to be praying for you morning, noon, and night.” Like, “This thing’s so in the bag. Larry is praying for me.”
I’ve got some better news for somebody here who needs some prayer right now. Larry’s not just praying for you, but the Lord Jesus, sitting at the right hand of God the father almighty, has the ear of God and Jesus knows exactly what you’ve been through because he lived on this Earth and Jesus is interceding and he’s praying for you.
I’m optimistic because at this very moment, Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God the father, praying for us.
3. How Can My Present Pain Make My Future Positive?
Answer: I am optimistic because my future victory is greater than my present pain.
I’m optimistic because what I’m going through now is doing something in me that God is going to sharpen me, conform me to the image of his son, Jesus. My future victory is greater than my present pain. Verse 18, Paul said this, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Some of you may say, “Well, that’s easy for Paul to say.” If you say that, you have no idea what the apostle Paul went through. I know many of you are going through some very significant things right now. Paul went through every bit of something as significant and way more: beaten, shipwrecked, whipped, left for dead, they thought he was dead, he looked so dead, snake bitten, over and over again tortured for his relationship with Jesus. He says, “I consider these present sufferings not even worth comparing to the glory of what God is going to do.”
I don’t know who it is right now that you’re in the middle of something difficult.
I’m not going to say that it’s not difficult because it can be very difficult. But from the eternal perspective, it’s not even worth comparing what we’re going through now. To the eternal glory of what our God, whose name is above every name, can do through our pain. Even James said that we can consider it crazy, pure joy. My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds … Why? Because the testing of your faith develops perseverance, that you would be mature and complete, not lacking anything. I am optimistic because this is how good my God is that my future victory is greater than my present pain. I’m optimistic not just because of what I feel, but because of what God says.
4. Can God’s Peace Provide Joy and Optimistic Outlook?
Answer: Why am I optimistic? I am optimistic because my mind is filled with the peace of God.
My mind is filled with the peace of God. Romans 8:6 says, “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the spirit is life and peace.” To those of you who have been born into the family of God, you don’t have to be dominated by your fleshly sinful nature. Your mind can be renewed, transformed by the washing of the water of God’s word. God’s word renews your mind and you stop thinking the negative, earthly, sinful thoughts and instead you get an eternal perspective based on God’s truth. Suddenly, when we see things from God’s perspective, because of his goodness, because of his strength and the way he can bring glory to his name out of even the worst situations, in the middle of a trial, you can have a supernatural peace that goes beyond your human ability to understand.
Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about because you’ve been in the middle of a horrible situation and other people are going, “How are you so cool? How are you getting through it?” You say, “You know what? I’m not getting through it on my own.
My mind has peace.
It doesn’t even have to be like really big stuff. In fact, just the other day when I was working on this message, I was in my negative mode and I was complaining to Amy because I had travel coming up. I said, “I just don’t travel well. I just don’t travel well.” Amy said, “Well, what if you change your mind and you learn to travel well?” I was like, “What if you let me preach and you not preach?” I didn’t say that. I didn’t say it, but I thought it. She was right.
She was like, “What if you just change your mind and you travel well?”
“But there’s so many things that can go wrong. The plane can be late and the connecting flights. I might miss the event.”
She said, “So in 20 years, how many times has that happened?”
It’s like, “There was that once. There was that once. The plane didn’t make it.”
She said, “What happened?”
I said, “Well, came home and I taught the message in the studio and they played it the next day.”
“Well, God used it. Doggone it.”
Let God’s Peace Dwell in Your Mind and Heart
It still worked. She’s like, “So in 20 years, God has never let you down. Why don’t you learn to travel well,” she said, “and let God’s peace dwell in your mind and your heart?” So I just decided I travel well. I’m looking forward to, if the plane’s late, just chill. I’m getting some salad and some chicken and kicking back. Why? Because the peace of God can rule my mind. If we choose to be governed by the spirit and not by the flesh. My mind is filled with the peace of God.
5. If God is For Me, Who Can be Against Me?
Answer: I’m optimistic from Romans 8 is because of this. If God is for me, who can ever be against me?
If my God is for me, who can be against me? This is exactly what Paul said in verse 31. Then, in verse 33, he said, “If God is for us …” Say it aloud, all of our churches. He said, “… Who can be again us?” In other words, “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.” Now, let’s call it like it is. Who can be against us? Some of you go, “Well, I know somebody who’s against me right now.” The truth is, yes, people will criticize you, they may not like you, they may take shots at you, but the reality is, if God is for us, what does it really matter? If God approves us, what does it really matter? In fact, when you start living boldly for Jesus, and I hope you do, people will make fun of you and they will persecute you and they will ridicule you for your faith. But if God’s got your back, what does it really matter? Listen to Craig Groeschel talk about how to stay positive and optimistic | top questions and answers.
Some of you may say, “Well, nobody’s persecuting me right now.” I always say this, “I don’t worry when people persecute me, because they persecute those who are following Jesus. I worry when nobody’s persecuting me.”
That would have just stepped on somebody’s toes about right now. I worry when nobody does because when we are boldly serving Jesus, the world pushes back and doesn’t like this. We have to find the category in our mind. If God called me to do it, he will provide the way. If God called me to it, even if they don’t like it, I’m glorifying him. If God is for me, who can be against me?
It’s a lot like when I was growing up. My dad was the manager of a department store. I’ll tell you what. If your dad is the manager of a department store, there’s nowhere more fun to be than at the department store. Why? Because your dad is the manager. When you’re seven years old and your mom is shopping and you’re hiding in the round clothes thing … Who did that? You know what I’m talking about? You’re about to get in trouble, you’re like, “My dad is the manager in the clothing store.” I used to sneak out and I would go back to the “employees only” door that would swing back into the stock room, where my dad’s office was, and I would just kind of walk up there to the “employees only” door and I’d push it open and just wait for someone to say, “Who do you think you are?” Like, “I’m the boss’ son. If the boss is for me, what employee can be against me?” Somebody could say. Enough of that.
If my heavenly father is for me, who can be against me?
The God who says all things are possible with him. I am optimistic because I believe my God is for me, that he plans to bless me, to prosper me, not to harm me, to give me a hope and a future. My God has plans to bless you, to prosper you, to give you a hope and future. You can be optimistic because God is for you, therefore who can be against you? Listen to Craig Groeschel talk about how to stay positive and optimistic | top questions and answers.
6. How Can I Have a Strong and Positive Spirit?
Answer: I’m optimistic because God’s spirit helps me in my weakness.
I’m optimistic because when I am weak, his spirit makes me strong. Romans 8:24, 25, 26, Paul says this. He says, “Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” That’s where some of you are right now. You’re waiting on God to be faithful to a promise. Verse 26 says, “In the same way …” What does the spirit do? All of our churches, let’s say it aloud. What does the spirit do? “The spirit helps us in our weakness.”
The Holy Spirit helps us when we’re weak.
Whenever we are down, the Holy Spirit holds us up. Whenever we are hurting, the Holy Spirit is our comforter. Whenever we feel alone, the Holy Spirit is our friend. Whenever we are weak, the Holy Spirit is strong through us. I can be optimistic because I am never, ever alone. When I am weak, I get to know God in a more intimate way because it’s his strength that carries me. Even on a bad day, the day I’d never, ever want, I get to know God in a more personal way. Why? Because his spirit is strong for me when I’m weak. Why am I optimistic? Not just because of what I feel, but because of what God says.
7. Can I Trust God to Make Good Things Happen in My Life?
Answer: I’m optimistic because my God is working everything in my life for good.
Your God, you should be optimistic, is working everything in your life for good. Verse 28 of Romans 8 says, “And we know that in … ” How many things? Somebody help. “We know that in all things.” The Greek word, the word “all” is translated, you know what it means? All. That’s exactly right. It means everything. It means the good things, the bad things, the mediocre things, the things you’re glad that happen, the things you wish would never happen, the thing that right now is driving you crazy, God is working in that thing, scripture says, “For the good of those who love him, who have been called according to our purpose.”
There is not a thing that will happen in your life that the goodness of our God will not transform into something eventually that brings about glory.
You can look back in your life and see this. Years ago, the thing that you thought, “This is the worst thing ever,” and it may have felt like that at the time. Years go by and you look back and you can see the faithfulness of the hand of God that somehow took the thing that you would never choose and never want to experience again and he transforms it to good. He’s working even when you don’t see him.
In fact, I saw a weird illustration of how this works. When I graduated from seminary years ago, Amy and I went to see a friend of ours in California. He took us to this massively cool buffet to celebrate. It was like the best food. The food was so fancy, I didn’t even know what to call some of it. How many of you have ever seen food like that? You’re like, “It’s expensive, it’s good. I don’t even know what that is. They don’t have that at the cafeteria where I eat for $4 and the senior only 4:00 line. They don’t have that where I come from.”
“That was so cool.”
I was putting something on my plate that looked like an olive. It wasn’t an olive, but it looked like an olive. I put it on my plate and I accidentally had my plate tip just a little too much and so it rolled off my plate and it hit the edge of my shoe and then it shot across the ground at this really fancy restaurant. I was thinking, “I just committed fancy restaurant heresy. This is the worst. I can’t believe I just did this.” All of a sudden, it was the craziest thing. There was this black curtain back there and there was a guy who was in the black curtain wearing all black and when that thing rolled across the ground, he swept up like an olive ninja, grabbed the thing, and disappeared back into the black curtain, just like that. That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I didn’t even know that guy was there and he came out of nowhere. I thought, “That was so cool.”
I took another olive. I’m going to see if this happens again. I just kind of did this. Went like this and sure enough, there he was. Almost like a power roll. He’s into it and he’s gone back in the curtain just like this. I’m sitting there going this whole time, there he is. He’s working. He’s serving. He’s like, omnipresent and I can’t see him and I didn’t even know he was there. But he’s doing something. Listen to Craig Groeschel talk about how to stay positive and optimistic | top questions and answers.
What is God Like?
That’s the reality of what our good God is like. Sometimes you don’t feel him. Sometimes you don’t see him. Sometimes you think he’s not working, but faith tells you that he’s there. Faith tells you I can trust in him because he knows the end from the beginning. Long before tomorrow ever starts, he’s already there. He knows how things work out and he is so amazingly good and so powerful that he is working in all things. I hope this speaks to somebody. The very thing that’s crushing your heart right now, one day you’ll see the faithfulness of God.
You can be optimistic because God is so amazing. He’s working in all things to bring about good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose.
8. How Can I Know that God Loves Me?
Answer: With everything in me, I am full of optimism because nothing can separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.
I hope there’s someone here that will feel this today. That there is nothing in this world that can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus. In fact, verses 38 and 39 talk about power and truth. Paul said, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”
No matter where you go, our God is there. No matter what you do, our God still loves you. No matter what happens in your life, our God is still for you. You can not outrun his love. You can not do something to cause him to stop loving you. You can not runaway from his presence. He will chase you down.
In fact, some of you right now, you may be trying to argue a way why this and that and you’ve walked away from God and the reason you’re hearing is because God’s running you down because God hadn’t given up on you yet because somebody’s praying for you. You want to be negative. You don’t want to like it, but there’s something inside of you saying, “I still want to believe.” What is that? That’s the faith seed that God put inside of you that says, “Yes, there may be a lot of bad things going on in this world, but I still have a God who is bigger than the worst thing in this world. I have a savior whose name is above every name.”
9. How Can I Be an Optimistic Person?
Answer: I am optimistic, not because of what I feel or not even because of what I see, I’m optimistic because of what God says.
How Can I be Positive When My World is Falling Apart?
When everyone else says, “My world is falling apart. This is the worst thing ever. My life stinks. I can’t believe we’re here.” You’re going to take a step back and say, “Yeah. There are a lot of bad things in the world, but I am not going to look at life from a negative perspective because my God is too good for that. Yes, there are some negative things, but I’m optimistic, not because what I feel and not because of what I see, but because of what my God says and because of who he is. I choose to believe in the goodness of God. When everyone else is acting like a buzzard, looking for dead things, I am a hummingbird. I’m seeing the sweetness and the goodness of God everywhere I look because my God is that good.”
Let’s pray together.
Father, we thank you so much for your presence in this place. We thank you for your goodness and we thank you for your word. God, we thank you that out of one chapter in the Bible, there are so many reasons why we should be full of faith, eternally optimistic. I pray, God, that your word planted in our hearts, would bring about eternal change. God, make us optimistic, not because of what we see, but God because of who you are and because of what you say.
How Can I Focus on the Positive Instead of the Negative?
At all of our churches, if you would like to be more full of faith and more optimistic in the goodness of God, there are so many reasons, let’s lift your hands right now and say, “Yes. I want to embrace that.” All of our churches right now, God I thank you that the work of your Holy Spirit in this very simple way could transform families, that when someone comes home and is not always finding the negative, but instead seeing where you’re working, God, I can’t even imagine how that could impact a marriage, how it could impact children, how it could impact an office climate, a work environment, how it could impact a small group, how it could impact a church, how it could impact our witness. Rather than focusing on the negative, seeing where you are working, looking for your hand, and believing in faith that you are good.
God, I pray that 9 reasons from Romans 8 would be planted deep in our hearts and even more reasons, when we read your word, when we’re doing the stay positive Bible study, when we’re talking in our discussion groups, God, that your word renew our minds, that we would be optimistic, full of faith, believing you have good things to do, that you would be glorified, and ultimately, that your son Jesus triumphs in the end. That is optimistic to bring glory to you, to reach others, and we believe you’ll do this in our hearts.
As you keep praying today, I talked to so many people. I talked to a guy recently that just said, “I feel so bad about myself. After all I’ve done, I don’t think God could ever love me.” I hope you’ll understand, there’s some of you it’s time you had some optimism about who God is and how he looks at you. The reality is every single one of us, this includes everybody who’s here, we’ve all done things wrong. The Bible calls that sin and sin does clearly separate us from God.
Can My Sins Be Forgiven?
Here’s the most amazing news about God. We talked about it in point number one. God sent his son, Jesus, who was without sin, to become for us sin on the cross, died, and then on the third day, rose from the dead. Why? So that anyone who calls on his name would be saved, forgiven, and transformed. I’m optimistic because I believe with all my heart that God brought many people here today to hear this good news. The good news is that you are not made right with God by being good, you’re made right with God because of God and his grace through Jesus. It’s never by works that we’re saved, it’s only by the grace of God’s goodness that we are forgiven and made new. That, frankly, is why many of you are here today.
Those of you that say, “Yes, that’s me. Yes, I don’t have that optimistic faith and joy.” It could be because you don’t have that living relationship with Jesus Christ.
When you call on him, God will work in all things to bring about good in your life. Why? Because he has called you and now you love him. All of our churches, you say, “Yes, I need his forgiveness. Yes, I need his grace. Today, by faith, I surrender. I give my whole life to him. I need his forgiveness. I surrender completely to Jesus.” If that’s your prayer. Lift your hands high right now, and say, “Yes. I surrender to him.”
Prayer of Forgiveness and Salvation
Pray, “Heavenly father, forgive me of all of my sins. Make me brand new. I believe Jesus died for me and he rose again so I could live for you. Fill me with your spirit so I could know you, serve you, and follow you. I’m optimistic because you are good and I belong to you. Thank you for new life. Now you have mine. In Jesus’ name I pray.”