“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”- Helen Keller
One of the oldest books in Mark Batterson’s library is a vintage volume authored by Helen Keller. Copyrighted in 1903, the book is titled Optimism. As Chapter 14 (“Eternal Optimist”) of If begins, Pastor Batterson delineates the importance and role of optimism in your Christian walk:
“If the Spirit of God is within you, optimism is the order of the day. It’s part of your spiritual birthright. Optimism isn’t at odds with the reality that is all around us. It simply means we’re anchored to another reality- the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ- that is deeper and stronger and longer than the reality we can perceive with our five senses.”
Hope, Mark underscores, is a powerful as if. The circumstances you find yourself in don’t have to define you. Even when you can’t change those circumstances, you can defy them by adopting an as if attitude. On the coffee sleeve used at Ebenezer’s coffeehouse the letters ‘SFSG’ are printed- “So far, so God.” That phrase represents Pastor Batterson’s translation of 1 Samuel 7:12- “Then Samuel took a stone and . . . named in Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the LORD has helped us.’ ”
Mark asserts that reliance on circumstances is far too prevalent when it comes to faith. He goes on to contrast doubt and faith.
a. letting our circumstances dictate now we feel, what we believe
b. allowing our circumstances to get between us and God, creating a smoke screen of doubt
a. relying on the direct evidence of Scripture
b. putting God’s promises between you and your circumstances
Pastor Batterson reminds us that the best is yet to come when you follow Christ.
Today’s question: How does Pastor Batterson’s explanation of optimism help you avoid having sight but no vision.”
Tomorrow’s blog: “You are God’s what if”