Watchman: Daily Devotional, Getting Over Pessimism “Philip” Was One of the Twelve Apostles (Matthew 10:3). Pessimism Blinds You to the Abundance of God’s Riches

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For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2 if ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: 7 Whereof I was made a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. 13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. 14 For this cause, I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, length, depth, and height; 19 and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

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An optimist sees the glass as half full, while a pessimist sees it as half empty. An optimist sees possibilities, while a pessimist sees obstacles. Philip was an optimist in some ways. He recognized Jesus as the Messiah and saw an opportunity to tell Nathanael about his discovery. In another way, Philip was a pessimist because he failed to see what Christ could accomplish in the face of apparent obstacles.

Jesus had just finished teaching and healing a crowd of thousands of people on one such occasion. The night was falling, and people were getting hungry. Because Philip was apparently in charge of the food, Jesus asked him, "Where are we to buy bread, that these may eat?" (John 6:5). "Two hundred denarii's worth of bread is not enough for them; everyone should receive a little," Philip said (v. 7). In other words, "we don't have enough money in our entire savings account to feed a group this size!" Philip's calculating, pragmatic, pessimistic mind could only come to one conclusion: this is an impossible scenario.

Jesus knew exactly how He was going to solve the problem, but He wanted to put Philip's faith to the test (v. 6). Philip should have passed the test because he witnessed Jesus making wine from water at the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11). Despite Philip's failure, Jesus never abandoned him. Instead, He made enough food to feed the entire crowd out of five barley loaves and two fish, replacing Philip's pessimism with a reaffirmation of divine sufficiency.

Each of us has a little Philip in us. We've seen God's saving power and seen Him answer prayer, but there are times when we let pessimism steal the joy of seeing Him work through difficulties in our lives. Do not allow this to happen to you. Keep your gaze fixed on Christ and your faith in His sufficiency. He will never let you down!

Prayer suggestions

Remember Ephesians 3:20-21. Recite it frequently as a praise hymn and an affirmation of your faith in God.

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