When it comes to the future, are you more optimistic or pessimistic? We need more qualifications before answering that. When it comes to the future of what? Of world history? Of your house remodel? Of your chances to get married? And what qualifies as optimism or pessimism? Are you allowed to think that the surgery will hurt, and badly, but make you feel better after six weeks of recovery? What if you joyfully plan to give up eating all desserts forever?
As we begin a study of the prophecies in the book of Revelation, we will consider different approaches and different results related to one’s take on the global, sociopolitical timeline. Is the world metanarrative a tragedy or a comedy? Some of what we expect to happen later necessarily colors some of what we expect sooner.
So for this moment let’s narrow the optimism/pessimism question to your sanctification. I’m not talking about your glorification; negative-ninnies about glorification are just little-faithed fools. But do you have high hopes for increased holiness today? Or do you have suspicion, if not cynicism about whether you will actually obey?
You may have a pattern of unconfessed sin that is dragging down your perspective. You may have experiences of disobedient crashes after obedient climbs. But, beloved, your sanctification depends on Christ and happens by faith through His Spirit. Is it hard? You are in the war against the seed of the serpent? Have you been beaten before, and accusations stick? These are not reasons to give yourself to hopelessness, these are reasons to keep giving yourself to Christ.
Sin is awful. More Christlikeness highlights how awful sin is. But though Jesus does not promise us perfection in this life, He does promise us help. So reckon yourself dead to sin in Christ and raised to walk in newness of life. Repent, and repent of defeatist faith.