Select Page

The View of Optimism

This optimism comes from faith and hope: faith in God being the beneficent, and hope for what He is going to do. Successively After the flood of water, there was the Ark. And God promised that He shall never destroy the earth anymore (Gen. 8). After the Crucifixion events, there was the joy of the resurrection. As God said to His disciples: "but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no man will take from you." (Jn. 16:22)…. your sorrow shall be turned into joy. Yes indeed, God can turn all sorrow into joy.

The dark night, no matter how dark it becomes, the bright dawn will come, the proverb says that dawn comes after the darkest hours of the night. A person who lives in the joy of hope, never gets tired, he feels that the winter cold will be successively have the warmth of spring afterwards… History gives us many examples of hope. When the human being committed sin, he was driven out of heaven, but a promise from God for salvation was always there, it didn’t stop at the driving out stage…then comes the promise for the paradise, then for the heavenly kingdom….which means to a better life. Likewise, death is a stage where a human being doesn’t stop at, as after that there will be the resurrection, and then the eternal glories with the spiritual body, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him." (1 Cor. 2:9).

So let’s observe carefully the white points in all our surroundings. Also view the story of Creation and how it commenced. "The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep." (Gen. 1:2). Though hope is being concealed in the successive phrase: "And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters . Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good." (Gen. 1:3-4). If man has faith inside his heart, he shall see prosperity in everything. Man will then not see the current darkness, but he will look to the light that will come. In other words, not seeing what is happening now but what God has prepared for us for later on.

Concerning this issue, let us meditate upon the lives of some of God’s saints. Observe the life of Job the righteous in his trial, and see how it turned to be with him. In his trial, he had lost everything, all his sons, his house, his belongings. He lost his health, lost his dignity among his friends and even in front of his servants..! Though God among all this was preparing for his salvation, and compensated him with twice as much as he had before, the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning (Job 42:1-17). "After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations."

The same almost goes for Joseph the righteous. He had so many discomforts in his life: his brothers’ envy to him, they also sold him as a slave. And in spite of his faithfulness in Potiphar’s house, he was unfairly accused of dishonesty and was thrown into ja il where he stayed for a while… But Hope was always in front of him so let’s see what God has done with him..He became the second in the kingdom "a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt" (Gen. 45:8). His brothers came to him and kneeled between his arms, he saw his father Jacob and his brother Benjamin, his sons were blessed by his father and he lived for a hundred and ten years.

I used to say: remember three phrases during every trouble you face: God is present (Rabena mawgoud), everything works for the best (kolo lelkheir), and it will come to an end (mesirha tantahi).

There isn’t any difficulty that lasts, however long it might stay, it should end, the difficulty rises in a pyramid shape till it reaches its top then slides downwards and finishes……it will come to an end, it will end in a good way. Yes indeed, everything works for the best because God is present. WIth the optimistic view, meaning with hope, you know with certain that God will interfere. And when God interferes-which he definitely will-all the problems will be solved, all the difficulties will go away, and the situation will be fixed up.

Nehemiah the prophet: he was discomforted on hearing the bad news, he cried, he fasted and prayed. The walls of Jerusalem were broken down, and the gates were consumed with fire. But God interfered and gave him favor in the eyes of Artaxerxes the king of the Persians. Nehemiah traveled and built the walls of Jerusalem, thus returning peace and righteous to its

people…So whenever you see broken walls, say within your heart: God will definitely send us another Nehemiah to rebuild it, and we shall never be disgraced anymore.

And as God sent Nehemiah to rebuild the broken down walls, He also sent David the little boy to save everyone from Goliath and his threats. People were scared, the army was frightened, and also was Saul the King. This was very distressing. Goliath was dangerously armed and was scary in his huge body, yet the optimistic look never departed David’s heart and said his phrase which is full of tranquility: "Let no man’s heart fail because of him" (1 Sam. 17:32), and promised to go and fight him. And when he was going for the fight, Hope never departed him, instead he said "This day the Lord will deliver you into mine hand" "for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands." (1 Sam 17:46-47). So, each Goliath you meet in your life never let your heart fail because of him. On the contrary, with all Hope make sure that God will send you David with his sling and stone to fight him for you, and saves you.

Even if you are restrained in between the Red Sea and the chariots of Pharaoh, remember the saying of Moses the prophet, "The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace." (Ex. 14:14). Don’t you ever say we’re lost, don’t give up, and never let faith with all its optimistic view depart from you, have strong faith. Be confident that The Lord is capable of dividing the sea and make for you a road through it. And you will safely get out, as was written "the just shall live by faith" (Heb. 10:38). The view of fear and suspicion, brings desperation – but the optimistic view and faith, is confident that The Lord will do something, even if at the 24th hour. And if we do not trust God’s hand in incidents, we will definitely become discomforted….

Let’s remember God’s saying "Fear not; for I am with you" and also David’s saying to the Lord who is his Shepherd "though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil" (Ps. 23). And God was with David and saved him from all Saul conspiracies which were against him, and saved him from fighting Absalom, from counsel of Ahithophel, and also from the troubles of the Joab son of Zeruiah. Jeremiah as well had encountered the same Divine encouragement; he was a boy, afraid of his mission, so God told him "Do not be dismayed before their faces… For behold, I have made you this day A fortified city and an iron pillar, And bronze walls against the whole land… They will fight against you, But they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you", says the Lord, "to deliver you."" (Jer. 1:17-19).

Also Hannah the wife of Elkanah, she was barren, Peninnah her adversary provoked her and made her cry, with Hope, God gave her a son who is Samuel the Prophet. About this Hope and optimistic view, God says about women who don’t bear children: "Sing, O barren, You who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud,… Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings… For you shall expand to the right and to the left. And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited. Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed" (Is. 54:1-4).

With the same words of encouragement, He says about all those who are in trouble: "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound…to comfort all who mourn" (Is. 61:1-2).

The optimistic view is nice and consoling, also is the feeling of Hope in God’s deeds. It’s not what we see, but what God sees for us. And it’s not what we do, but what God does for us. That’s how we should think, and we should also confidently wait, as David the Prophet says in the psalm "Wait on the Lord ; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!" (Ps. 27:14).

But if man fears and says I’m lost, so this is not out of Faith or out of Hope, and this doesn’t benefit the heart at all. Who might have thought that Moses the child was sentenced to death before he was even born(according to Pharaoh’s order to the midwives), this same Moses becomes a great prophet, and God’s speaker, many miracles is been done by him…! Who might have thought that Mary Magdalene, who had been healed of seven evil spirits (Lk. 8:2), might become a disciple for God, and a bringer of good news of Resurrection to his disciples (Mk. 16:9).

It is the work of God in all of them; it is which we wait for with Hope… Or who might have thought that Saul the Tarsusian, who was aggressively persecuting the church, and who brought men and women to Jail (Acts 1), might become the greatest Apostle in Christianity, as he "labored more abundantly than they all" (1 Cor. 15:10), he was caught up into Paradise, and heard inexpressible words (2 Cor. 12:4 :)…

It is God’s deeds that are beyond description…..

Or who might have thought that Arianus the governor, who was one of the most violent and cruel governors in the days of king Dekledianus, might God works in his heart, believes in Christianity and

become a martyr. Not only all that, but also the country of Romania, who severely and cruelly persecuted Christianity, issues Milan Decree in the year 313 declaring the religion freedom, then it becomes a Christian country…it is Hope that makes every person looks optimistically to the future believing in God’s work.

This "Hope" also was known to the church in repentance of lots of sinners. For example, the repentance of St. Ignatius, St. Moses the black, St. Mary the Coptic, St. Pilagya, St. Sarah… How desperate were their lives, but there is definitely no desperation with the work of God who is able to raise up children to Abraham from stones (Mt. 3:9).

God’s work can change hearts; can even rebuild those hearts, as previously promised… "Then will I sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean… I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you…I will put my spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep my judgments and do them…" (Ezek. 36:25-27).

God is able to get forth sweetness out of the strong, and forth meat out of the eater. He is able to transform the sinner into a saint. We can see God’s work in our daily life, in Egypt and in the land of Emigration, and also in the spreading of the church in all the continents of the world. God’s work in the past, gives us confidence and Hope in what He will do in the future. God who has worked with the people, and with the idolatry till He destroyed it, and who also broke the sting of the atheism, is capable of work now and at all times.

Posted by Fr. Moses Samaan

April 9, 2009