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I have recently spent a couple posts to discuss the fears I have with positive confession theology.  The reason I say I have fears about this type of thinking is because this framework of living almost immediately leads us to a false view of who God is, a false view of who man is, and a false view of what Christ's atonement is.

However, having a positive outlook on life is, most assuredly, a Biblical and godly characteristic.  Christians ought to be hopeful, joyful, and encouraging.  But the primary source of this hope, joy, and encouragement differs dramatically from the source of Joel Osteen's or Jon Gordon's joy, for instance.  (In short, I am not condemning these men or others like them.  I do, however, want to draw attention to their faulty theology and the faulty theology of most - if not all - of those who hold to their teachings.)

Take a look, for example, at two different song lyrics that demonstrate two differing sources of hope, joy, and encouragement.

The first is a song I have quoted before, called "Just Haven't Seen It Yet" by Danny Gokey.  The chorus goes like this:
"Have you been praying and you still have no answers?
Have you been pouring out your heart for so many years?
Have you been hoping that things would have changed by now?
Have you cried all the faith you have through so many tears?
Don't forget the things that He has done before
And remember He can do it all once more
It's like the brightest sunrise
Waiting on the other side of the darkest night
Don't ever lose hope, hold on and believe
Maybe you just haven't seen it, just haven't seen it yet
You're closer than you think you are
Only moments from the break of dawn
All His promises are just up ahead
Maybe you just haven't seen it... yet..."
In summary, the worldview that is expressed in these lyrics can be summarized in this statement: you can have hope, joy, and encouragement if your circumstances change - and they will change if you just have enough "faith."

Compare those lyrics with another song from Matt Redman, entitled "Blessed Be Your Name."  The opening verse and chorus go like this:
"Blessed be Your name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name
Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name
Every blessing You pour out, I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name...."
In summary, the worldview expressed here is in stark contrast to the previous one.  It says, you can have hope, joy, and encouragement regardless of your circumstances because God is always worthy of praise, not because He is guaranteed to change your circumstances.

One worldview is me-focused, the other is God-focused.  One worldview teaches that Truth comes from my experiences, the other teaches that Truth comes from God alone.

Either way, having a positive outlook on life depends upon a source.  Positivity must be empowered from somewhere.  The positivists would say that the source is me, and whatever that looks like for me is okay.

The Bible, on the other hand, empowers positivity from a different source: God.  It is because God is sovereign that I can stay the fears and anxieties inside of me.  It is because God is good that I can trust Him even in the face of my darkest circumstances, and I can continue to trust Him when my circumstances don't change.  It is because of the God-Man's resurrection that I have hope, joy, and encouragement for all the days of my life!

Read the lyrics of yet another song, this one written by Bill Gaither, called "Because He Lives":
"Because He lives I can face tomorrow
Because He lives all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives..."
The resurrection is the source of all hope, joy, and encouragement!

But from the glib positivists, never will you hear that the source of positivity is the resurrection.  This is because in order to get to the resurrection, you must go through sin, death, judgement, hell, and all sorts of other negative things - and those might make people feel bad about themselves.  Instead, you will only be told to look deeper into yourself to overcome all your woes and heartaches, because, after all, you are great all by yourself!

There is a story that illustrates this dichotomy of worldviews nicely, and it is found in 2 Samuel in the Bible.  It reads like this:
And the Lord afflicted the child that Uriah's wife bore to David, and he became sick.  David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground.  And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them.  On the seventh day the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to us. How then can we say to him the child is dead? He may do himself some harm.”  But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David understood that the child was dead. And David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” They said, “He is dead.”  Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate.  Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.”  He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’  But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”
What God illustrates for us through David's experience is crucial.  David sought the Lord for the miracle he wanted: the life of his child.  However, when the child died, David moved on with a positive outlook.  Why?  Not because his situation changed - it actually got worse - but because his trust was in the Lord, the creator of life.  He also didn't move on because he found something in himself to will him on to positivity.  No, David knew that the child was not his; it was God's.  David knew God's sovereign will was to be trusted.  And, in the end, David points to the resurrection as his ultimate hope: "I shall go to him, but he will not return to me."

The resurrection of the dead was the source of David's hope, joy, and encouragement.  It was not the superficial telling of positive, me-focused thoughts to his inner self that helped him and changed his circumstances.  David's hope was in the Lord and remained in the Lord, for from Him come hope, joy, and encouragement.

Brothers and sisters, my hope and prayer for us is this: May we seek to know the Lord.  May we trust His sovereignty over all things: our pains and sufferings, our successes and joys.  For He has purpose in all things and He is good in all things.  Oh, He is good, oh saint.  He is good.  We may never understand the reason for some things, but we do know that He is good.  If He has given us His only Son to die for us, then how much more will He not along with Christ give us all things in the life to come? (Romans 8:32).  Look to the Lord for hope, joy, and encouragement, not to yourself or your circumstances.

Because of the resurrection, our best life is not now - it is yet to come for all who trust in Christ!