Pastor Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch.tv started a new sermon series called “Stay Positive,” and shared in his first message on Sunday eight reasons for believers to be optimistic in life based on what God says in just one chapter in the book of Romans in the New Testament.
“There’s an epidemic of negativity around the world,” Groeschel said after he introduced the new series, in which the description reads: “Cynicism and negativity may be the easy choice, but they’re not the best choice. If you seek what’s good, you’ll see what’s good. Let’s embrace the way we’re created to think and stay positive.”
The pastor said he also needs this message, as he can also easily drift into negativity. The series will look into biblical qualities of optimism, gratitude, encouragement, generosity, enthusiasm and confidence, he added.
Some are naturally optimistic, while others are naturally pessimistic, Groeschel told the congregants. An optimist would read the verse, “My cup overflows,” and say, “The Lord is blessing me.” And a pessimist would say after reading the verse that there’s going to be more mess today.
It’s true that many things are going wrong today, but there are also many things that are going right, the pastor said.
“You always find what you look for,” Groeschel added, and quoted Proverbs 11:27, “If you search for good, you will find favor; but if you search for evil, it will find you.”
However, he cautioned, “I’m not optimistic based on what I feel. I’m optimistic based on what God says.”
The pastor then shared eight reasons from just one chapter in the book of Romans why he is optimistic, just as all believers should be.
One, my sins are forgiven and my eternity is secure, he said, quoting Romans 8:1-2, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
“This makes me eternally optimistic,” the pastor said.
Two, Jesus is at the right hand of God praying for me, Groeschel added, and read out Romans 8:34, “Christ Jesus who died — more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”
Jesus knows what we go through as He also lived on Earth, the pastor explained, adding that it gives him immense confidence to know that Jesus is praying for him.
Three, my future victory is grater than my present pain. God is going to sharpen us to conform us to the image of His Son through what we are going through right now, Groeschel explained, and quoted Romans 8:18, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
Four, my mind is filled with the peace of God, the pastor said, based on Romans 8:6, “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”
God’s Word renews our mind, helping us experience peace, he explained.
Five, if God is for me, who can be against me? The pastor quoted Romans 8:31, 33, “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? … It is God who justifies.”
If you live boldly as a Christian, people would ridicule you and persecute you, but since God is with you, all those things do not matter, Groeschel said.
Six, God’s Spirit helps me in my weakness, the pastor shared, and quoted Romans 8:24-26, “Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.”
When we are weak, we get to know God in a more intimate way because it is His strength that carries us, he explained.
Seven, my God is working everything in my life for good, Groeschel said. He read out Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Eight, nothing can separate me from the love of God, Groeschel said, and quoted Romans 8:38, 39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, not any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
You cannot outrun God’s love and cause it to stop, he stressed, and stated that our God is too good for us to be negative in life