A: Someone once asked me if I was an optimist or a pessimist, and I replied that I was an optimist — because I had read the last book of the Bible!
What I meant was this: No matter how discouraging things seem, the Bible tells us that God is ultimately in control, and some day He will intervene to destroy all evil and injustice. That will happen, the Bible says, when Jesus Christ returns to usher in His kingdom of perfect righteousness and peace. The Bible says, “But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13). Is your hope in Him?
Admittedly some people always tend to look on the dark side of things; it just seems to be part of their personality. (The opposite is true, of course; other people always seem to be cheerful and optimistic.) But no matter what we’re like, God wants us to lift our eyes to Him, and take comfort in His promises. If you truly believe, for example, that God loves you and is always with you, won’t it make a difference in your attitude?
God has not promised that we’ll ever live in a perfect world — not until Christ comes again. But He has promised to be with us always — and you can trust His promises. Put Christ first in your life, and then ask Him to remind you every day of His constant goodness and presence.
Q: I know something is missing in my spiritual life, and from what I’ve heard some of my friends say, I think it must be the Holy Spirit. What do I have to do to get the Holy Spirit? — Mrs. D.W.
A: If you have sincerely committed your life to Jesus Christ, then He has already come to live within you by His Holy Spirit. The Bible says, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple (or dwelling place) and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16).
In fact, the Holy Spirit has already been at work in your life — even if you weren’t aware of Him. Before you ever confessed your sins and put your faith in Christ, the Spirit convicted you of your sins and convinced you of the truth of the Gospel. In addition, the Spirit drew you to Christ, and He even gave you a new heart and a new life as you committed your life to Jesus. Jesus said, “No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.... Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit” (John 3: 3,6).
But what may be missing in your life is the power of the Spirit — that is, His control over your life. God wants to change us from within and make us more like Christ. But we can’t do that on our own; it only happens as we allow the Holy Spirit to control our minds and wills.
Turn your life over to God and ask Him to change you from within by His Spirit. Then make the Bible your constant companion and guide every day. The Holy Spirit gave the Bible to us, and the Holy Spirit will use it to change us.
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.