Confident otters

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My day to day demeanor has been described in a variety of ways. Some have labeled it as having a crisis meter perpetually pegged on low. Others have wondered if my rejection of a Chicken Little mindset has swung to the opposite extreme of being an older, masculine Pollyanna. Pejoratively, it has been described as having a basis far from reality. Those with a more encouraging bent have categorized it as remaining hopeful in all things.

There exists a personality test that measures an individual’s thoughts, beliefs, and actions and makes comparisons with members of the animal kingdom: Lion, Otter, Golden retriever, and Beaver. Based on that metric, I am off the charts Otter. The summary statement of the Otter is “It will all work out.” If only I had a nickel for every time I said that…

Unfortunately, it rarely shows up in my facial expressions. I’m not much of a smiler, I have never considered myself a good smiler, and it has not crossed my mind to practice smiling. Accordingly, there are more than a few who, when looking at my face, think I am irritated or troubled, when more than likely the exact opposite is true. The Otter’s summary statement is precisely how I go through life. It will all work out.


Photo by “Mike” Michael L. Baird [CC-BY-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

For me, that is not a self-talk trick or motivational mantra. I am genuinely convinced of its veracity. I am convinced, not because of my ability to conjure up a joyful, happy go lucky persona (couldn’t do that even if I tried) but because I am convinced from God’s Word about God’s sovereignty over everything. Better stated, I am convinced that God will work everything out. Nothing is beyond His reach. Everything has His attention. His fingerprints are all over the affairs of men. The Scriptures repeatedly declare that this is true, so how can I deny it? Why would I want to? There is zero benefit to having any measure of uncertainty of the truth that God is working, and will work, everything out to His glory.

We face trials. They come whether we want them to or not. Sickness, finances, relationships in a mess, and consistently battling the rebellious nature of our hearts are just the start of the list. But God is working, and will work, everything out to His glory. I’m certainly not advocating leading a life of laziness and prayerlessness (those would be the results of carrying this truth out to its unbiblical extreme). God in His kindness has given us promises in His word to those who are His followers. Promises that tell us we can lead lives of joy, not despair. Promises that tell us we are conquerors, and not victims. Promises that ensure victory and not defeat.

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:11

Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:24

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ  1 Corinthians 15:57

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

My confidence is high that God is already at work, making things to work out. I will not submit to despair and defeat. I will choose joy. I will live in light of the victory won by Christ, and have it shape my thoughts, words, actions, and heart. And I will praise Him that He is my source of confidence.


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