The Difference Between Faith and Optimism

There’s a difference between faith and optimism.

Optimism is merely hopeful.

Faith and Optimism

Faith and Optimism


Faith is grounded, calm, and solid.

Optimism wistfully says “Maybe.”

Faith says, “Okay, I’ll build an ark.” “Okay, I’ll lead people out of slavery.” “Okay, I won’t bow down to that thing everyone else is worshipping–even though they will kill me for my civil disobedience.” “Okay, but even if I die, I will still serve You.”

Faith survives the lies of frenemies, the teeth of lions, the fury of flames, the edge of the sword, the weaknesses of humanity, the strategies of armies, the downfall of empires, the unmitigated hatred of a mocking mouth, the scourge of beatings, the lows of failure, the highs of success, the flux of schedules, the duress of persecution, and the finality of death.

I have meditated on and weighed these two concepts, and I have read my history books.

This is my verdict:

If it’s something you can peacefully pillow your head on in your dying hour, it’s something I want. That is all.


Meditation inspired by Hebrews 11 and those who have challenged me in The Start Experiment.


4 thoughts on “The Difference Between Faith and Optimism

  1. Holly says:

    Great post! There’s nothing “weak” about faith– it is refined through fire and trials and pain. And it is in our scars that we share our stories of battles won.

  2. Rebekkah says:

    “Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.” -Wendell Berry
    Beautiful post. I’m loving the themes I’m reading on your blog. (Found it via beautyredefined.)

  3. Karina Z. Fitzpatrick says:

    You know I was thinking; reading this over I saw a few comments that ran something like “With no religion people would kill each other all the time because they have no fear of an afterlife,” etc. etc. All I wanted to say is that it is quite sad where our moral values are based on whether or not we will be ‘punished’ for our actions. Anyone who is a good person because they ‘want to get into heaven’, cannot truly be a good person. As for the song (I lied, that wasn’t all I wanted to say), this song is pure song about how great life would be without all of these differences between us. I’m getting tired of people saying how unrealistic it is; of course it is impossible, I gave up faith in the human race long ago. However, the name of the song is “Imagine”, if you recall. Imagine how great it would be if such a thing could come into being. And lastly, anyone who makes the comment that John Lennon was a hypocrit because he spoke of ‘no possessions’ because he was multimillionaire, are not truly seeing his words for what they are. He was a Beatle who made millions of dollars doing what he loved, yes, but does that make him greedy? I think not. You would have no idea if he would or would not have given up his belongings for this utopia he imagined, and neither do I; no one will ever know. Imagine… Because that’s all pathetic mankind can ever do. A beautiful, pure song.

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