Everyone has heard of Murphy’s Law. This paper recently published ten
aspects of the law, such as “In any field of scientific endeavour,
anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”
Another is, “Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to
worse.” The last of the ten is: “It is impossible to make anything
foolproof, because fools are so ingenious.” Then to sum it all up,
O’Toole’s comment was that Murphy was an optimist!
We tend to fit somewhere
Not many would be as dull as Murphy but there certainly are pessimists that
always seem to see the down side of every situation. A definition I heard was
that a pessimist is a man who wears a belt and a pair of braces too.
The optimists seem to be a bit less common these days. A very optimistic
fellow fell off a twelve storey building and was heard to say as he passed the
second floor window, “Everything is fine so far.”
Now then, as we look out into the future, how do we feel? Confident that all
will be well, that problems will be solved, that all will turn out just fine,
or are we full of doubt and reserve?
I tend to have a bit of both views. I suppose it traces back to what I see in
the Bible. It has been outstanding in telling the future and has never been
wrong. Is it then optimistic or pessimistic?
Both trends are there
On the one hand, the Bible gives a rather dire picture of the future of
mankind in rebellion against God. It speaks of there being “no hope in
the world” and “men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what
is coming on the world....” It is abundantly clear that there is a
course of action that will only result in negative consequences. We need to
By no means is the Bible all gloom and doom. In fact, it has the only
authentic good news in the whole world. It speaks of God’s love and His
intervention in the history of our race. Quite clearly, His aim is to bring
people into a new relationship with Himself and provide a secure and totally
happy future in His own presence.
What a contrast
When Christ was arrested, tried and crucified, His followers were downcast and
despairing. It seemed like their joy was forever gone. The sky was black. But
after they saw and heard the risen Christ, their hearts leapt for joy and
gladness. Up ahead was all that Jesus had promised them.
He was right after all. Eternal blessings were theirs — and ours, too,
if we will trust in Jesus in a personal way. You’ll not just be an
optimist, you will be a possessor of everlasting life.
You can look forward to this: “In His presence is fullness of joy; at
His right hand are pleasures forevermore”
(Psalm chapter 16, verse 11).