“Because we are part of the Body of Christ, we have the best reason of all to be optimistic every day of our lives, in all circumstances; to be able to truly see the good things that await us, even in the midst of difficulties.
Josh Raymond welcomed father Bobby Blood back to inner life to talk about why we as Christians are charged with living a life full of joy and hope, even though the world is full of suffering and struggle.
Father Bobby began by defining exactly what optimism should mean in the context of living as followers of Christ. Quite simply, being optimistic simply means understanding that “the world is finally good”. Quite often, people understand that pessimism and optimism are personality traits. But if we understand that the world is ultimately good, our beliefs are tested when we experience something difficult. Do you really believe in the goodness of God and his intention to take care of you? Or do you trust him only when things are going well?
Josh highlighted the media’s longstanding philosophy that “If it bleeds, it leads” and how for many years now our knowledge of public affairs has been dominated by negative information. If you turn on the news at any given time, there’s a good chance journalists will be covering economic issues, the latest mass shootings, issues with the healthcare industry, dangerous foreign powers, the epidemic drugs and natural disasters.
While it is important for someone to keep the country informed of the issues that arise, there is a certain sensationalism that has become more prevalent that can take our eyes off God. There is no doubt that many things that happen in our world are tragic and horrible, but we cannot overlook them in an attempt to achieve blissful ignorance. Instead, Father Bobby suggests doing the opposite: look at the big picture; Zoom out. Find God’s will in all of this. Where does he act to get good out of this bad situation?
This begs the question: how do we find God in these times? How to avoid despair and hopelessness?
Father Bobby said that the first thing we must avoid in difficult times is isolation. Our first instinct when we feel pain is to look within and analyze our emotions and feelings. In reality, it is our pride and our ego that cause us to feel bad about ourselves. It is a defensive technique that allows us to justify our unnatural behavior. But, we are part of the Body of Christ. God has placed certain people around us for a reason. They are able to deal with us in ways that we cannot deal with ourselves.
Second, Father Bobby encouraged us to slow down. When the world directs you to abandoned things, take stock of all the good things you have. Count your blessings and express your gratitude to God who, in the midst of everything, has found a way to support you. Instead of giving in to that mentality that you’ve been through so much and how life has been so hard for you, showing thanksgiving for your business can show you that God will continue to provide and care for you. from you.
“Are we not selling five sparrows for two small coins? Yet none of them escaped God’s notice. Even the hairs on your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows. (Luke 12:6-7)
When you struggle to live with optimism, hope, and Christian joy, it can be helpful to look at what type of life you have been living. Are you really continuing as a member of the Body of Christ? Are you in a state of grace? Are you actively organizing a virtuous life at home, with family and friends, at work or school, and in public? If so, you shouldn’t have to worry. We are members of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church and therefore we have the best reason to live as optimists, because salvation is promised to us.
Tune inner life weekdays at 11 a.m. CT