Good Reason to Be Optimistic

Yael Eckstein  |  January 29, 2023

Yael praying at the Western Wall

Why do the nations conspire,
    and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the LORD and against his anointed… —
Psalm 2:1-2

We start out every week with an inspirational lesson from the beloved Psalms. For centuries, these ancient poems of King David and others have been the foundation for Jewish and Christian worship. Enjoy!

If you know me, you know that I’m an optimistic person. Sometimes people ask me why I’m such an optimist when there is so much evil and suffering in the world. I always tell them that I don’t understand how anyone who believes in God can be anything but an optimist!

As people of faith, one thing we know without question is that God is in control and His plan will prevail. We know that. So how can I not be optimistic?

But being optimistic does not mean that I ignore the problems. It doesn’t mean that I’m in denial about the suffering that exists. Our job is to help those in need and bring the world one step closer to redemption.

Especially as a Jew living in Israel, optimism about the future is natural. I mean, look at us! For almost 2,000 years we were scattered, persecuted, and homeless. And all that time we never stopped saying “Next year in Jerusalem.” We never stopped believing that God’s plan is certain.

Good Reason to Be Optimistic

But unfortunately, there are still people out there who think they can stop God’s plan. Israel’s enemies still plan and plot our destruction. But then I read the words of Psalm 2, “Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the LORD and against his anointed.” And then a few verses later we read, “The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them” (v.4).

What was true when David wrote these words is still true today. There are always those who think they can undo God’s plan.

Each year, on Passover, when we tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt, we say the following words: “In every generation there are those who rise up against us to destroy us, but the Holy One Blessed is He saves us from their hand” (from the Passover Haggadah).

So, while we must fight against anti-Semitism and combat unfair attacks on the State of Israel, we must also remember that just as God brought us back to Israel after a 2,000-year exile, the rest of His plan is on the way as well. The end of the story is good! We all have good reason to be optimistic.

Your Turn:

Remind yourself, and a few friends, that no matter what challenges we see in the daily headlines, a life of faith means that we know that God has good things in store!

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