The following blog post contains notes and application questions from our October 28, 2018 message, Gospel-Driven Optimism.
There are two types of people: optimists and pessimists. Which one describes you most days? As we continue our series, “Philippians: To Live is Christ,” JP teaches from Philippians 1:12-20 that as Christians, we should have gospel-driven optimism. When we do, it inspires others, sees opportunity, and always overcomes.
Optimism: Hopefulness and confidence about the future.
Optimism Inspires Others
- This is leadership 101. If you are leading others, know that optimism is contagious. It inspires others.
- Consider the implications of emotional leadership on your household…how is your temperament at home?
- Todd Wagner, our senior pastor, is infamous for always saying—especially when things seem to be going or have gone “wrong”—“It’s all going to work out.” What is your response when something goes wrong?
- Optimism doesn’t mean you can’t be sad. Jesus wept. But when you are tempted toward negative emotions, ask how you can use your situation to advance the Kingdom.
- Gospel driven optimism inspires others to share the gospel fearlessly.
Optimism Sees Opportunity
- Paul was not just optimistic, but opportunistic.
- Even if we disagree with someone, if we agree on the gospel, let’s celebrate that!
- There are real dangers about following Jesus the way some people follow Jesus, but we can and should celebrate agreement on the gospel.
- We are not praying that God would only use us.
- The gospel is fueled by opposition, so it can’t be stopped. When you try to stop it, you’re effectively pouring kerosene on it.
- Gospel driven optimism sees opportunity even in opposition. Even when someone is working against you there are opportunities to share the gospel.
Optimism Always Overcomes
- As Christians, we know how it ends. Have you stopped remembering how it ends?
- Failure is often just a matter of when you give up. If it’s not over, you haven’t been defeated.
- Gospel driven optimism can be summarized in one word: faith.
- We believe the glass is half full because the tomb is empty.
- Take an eternal perspective. When you’re tempted to despair, see your situation through the lens of the gospel…in light of eternity.
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- How do your emotions affect those closest to you? In what area of your life—family, friend, work, etc.—do you have the most room to grow in your emotional leadership?
- What is your response when something goes wrong in life? What’s the first thing you think? Say? Do? How can you grow in a gospel driven optimism in these moments?
- How can you think about eternity more often this week than you did last week? Share your answer with your community group, and ask them to answer the same question for you.