In the psalms, there are a lot of expressions of long-term optimism, but why does the psalmist sing of this? The main reason the psalmists sing at times with optimism is because they know who is in control of the situation they are in and who rules over their lives: God. They know that God is in control and that they have obeyed Him and submitted to him, and that they can trust in God for safety. The hierarchy in Psalms has God on top, then man, and then the rest of creation.
A lot of the psalms start with cries for help because of unrighteous enemies, and then transition into the psalmist praising God for His deliverance from the his enemies. The optimism expressed here comes as a result of the knowledge that God will reward His servants, while those who rebel against God will be punished. The enemies of the psalmist are in open rebellion against God, and do not think that God will deal out negative sanctions to them for their actions. They continually oppress the poor and the needy for their own benefit, and the psalmist (Usually David) is also victim of the acts of these people.
David continually pleads with God to punish his enemies and that he would not be publicly embarrassed by them. He asks God to defend His own name, and to prove his enemies wrong. He has trusted in God for his protection, so he wants God’s protection. In his psalms, David expresses his confidence that he has done right, and that he has not rebelled against God, but has served Him and submitted to him. Because God protects His servants, and David is a servant of God, then David will be protected.
David tends to transition into optimism because God has helped him and others in the past, and that God is faithful and will continue to do so in the future. He praises God for his previous works, and trusts in Him no matter what the circumstances are around him. He is optimistic because God will not completely leave the upright alone, but will strengthen them, sustain him, and protect him in the future.
David is not just optimistic about the present, but is also optimistic about the future. The reason that David is optimistic about the future is because God is eternal. Because God is eternal, intervenes in history, and is faithful to those who serve Him, then God will always be there for His servants and will never be absent from history. The wicked’s triumph is temporary, while the triumph of the righteous is forever. The wicked may win a battle, but they will never win the war. Even though the wicked seem to be winning, God’s servants should not lose heart because the victory and prosperity of the wicked is temporary. God intervenes in history on the side of the righteous, even if it is hard to see it at first. No matter how powerful the wicked are, their rebellion against the wicked will not pay off, but will be punished by a righteous and holy God.