Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Reasons for Optimism

In a World Magazine informal survey "concerning the future of the USA", it was found that 25% of readers surveyed were: Optimistic - 25%
Pessimistic - 35%
A doomsday cataclysmist - 40%
Meaning that 75% of persons surveyed (mainly conservative Christians) are pessimistic regarding the future of the United States.

BUT NOTE: Americans were not always so pessimistic. In the 19th. and early 20th. centuries, people were very optimistic as to the future of the country. Believed things were improving and going to get better and better.

Question: Was the optimism justified??
On the one hand, there was a lot of good happening.... medical, technology, education, social efforts, political freedoms, religious adherence, economic growth, etc.

Still, they faced "life as we know it!!" - human nature, failings, war, crime, economic recessions, illness, death, apathy, indifference, political corruption!!

Question: What happened? Where did the optimism go?? Answer: (Speculation) - it died when they failed to reach and accomplish our ideal utopia. WW!, Great Depression, WWII, etc.

So, What should our stance be today???
Answer: balanced, Biblical, ..... probably better.

Reasons for Optimism - from a 19th. Century American viewpoint.

1. God's still in control (on the throne) Fill in the blank: God is greater than ________

#2. His promises still stand. Matt. 16:18 The Kingdom will do more than survive. It will thrive.

#3. His purpose is unchanged. It is still to: draw (man), save (souls), and transform (lives)
Luke 19:10 I Tim. 2:3-4 These apply to individuals and to the nation

#4. We are still a Christian nation. 80% claim Christianity. 66% say this is a Christian nation.

#5. God does not quickly abandon His people. Example: Israel - pre- exile, in exile. He is NOT done with us until we're done with Him!

#6. His Spirit still works. John 5:17 - this has not changed. Awakening is still possible. However, Revival is not the norm, it's the exception.

#7. We still have a say in our destiny. Jer. 18:7-10 - example: Ninevah. Inhabitants have a great deal of choice in what happens. It's in our power to turn things around.

#8. We're not blessed solely on our righteousness. Deut. 9:6 Often, in places where people were the least churched, God blessed the most.

#9. He's brought us through worse. ie: the Revolution - going against England. Economic failures in '29, post revolution politics - much conflict - almost resulted in 13 nations, rather than 13 states in one nation. Civil War, World wars.

#10. We remain extremely blessed. Question: are these really hard times? Are people literally dying of starvation? etc.

#11. He still works good out of the bad. Rom. 8:28

#12. His time table differs from ours. 2 Pet. 3:3-4 2 Pet. 3:8-9 . We're a "microwave" society.

The End of the Book says that "we win". - Revelation.

Meanwhile - Rom:8:31

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