NOUN | op·ti·mism
an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome
synonyms: hopefulness · hope · confidence · buoyancy · cheer · cheerfulness · good cheer · sanguineness · positiveness · positive attitude
Researchers identify optimism as essential because it is the ability to view failure not as a reflection of ability or personal worth. Hardships are seen as ‘learning experiences’ by optimists. This isn’t a ‘head-in-the-sand’ ignorance of reality. Rather this is a decision to view difficult circumstances as an opportunity for growth.
A life marked by optimism has profound advantages. Researcher Martin Seligman indicates that optimistic people have better physical and emotional health, live longer lives, experience greater professional achievement, and have increased longevity. While optimism alone will not provide for a purposeful life, it will create a valuable prism through which all life should be viewed.
More importantly, this perspective or attitude is a description of the hope we have because of our salvation in Jesus Christ. Our success or failure does not define us. Rather, we are valuable because our identity is found only with Christ. Our struggles produce opportunities to experience God’s powerful love and redemption (Romans 5 and 8). We believe that we have a Savior who not only identifies with us in our hardships but also has rescued us and given us an eternal hope (II Cor. 1:7). This is optimism as it’s core; the battle is already won and our striving is not in vain. We know that God uses all things – difficulties and successes, failures and achievements for our good.
Students at Immanuel Christian High School will be firmly rooted in their identity as believers. They will develop the discernment to deal with the hardships and failures of life—not to take a secular view but to press on because of our hope in Jesus Christ.
Lamentations 3:21-23 (ESV)
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
the steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.