Despair and optimism are too often treated as different sides of the same coin.
The issue is both promote inaction. One out of a sense of helplessness and the other out of ignorance.
It is also why the doctrine of unlimited submission taught by too many in the church is not only wrong but destructive.
One of my favorite authors of the last several years is Rod Dreher, who wrote Live Not by Lies.
He has often been accused of being a pessimist, but he responds by saying “I am neither pessimistic nor optimistic, but I am hopeful.”
Optimism is the belief that everything will always turn out for the best if we just all sit tight and wait.
Christian hope however is realistic. Because Christianity above all else is a worldview, the only worldview of reality. It understands that things are not the way they are supposed to be and that this world is not our home and so we should not expect it to provide us the comfort of home.
That is not to say we should not be grateful for what we have been given in this world.
But it does mean that when things go wrong and it appears the enemy is winning, I must not despair but must work to the best of my ability to right such wrongs.
Even David, after kneeling in prayer, stood up, picked up a rock, and proceeded to defeat Goliath.
Our current world seems to be entering a darkly chaotic and uncharted era. But, if we who call ourselves true Christians, children of God, give up in despair, then who will battle the evilness spreading across our land?
We need to never stop preparing ourselves for battle by staying informed, maintaining a passion for truth and the courage to stand up for that truth, knowing what we believe and why, and worshipping God worthy as true disciples.