The Temptation Of Cynisim
As much as I like watching the news it can be depressing. The endless bickering between political parties, the horrible murders on our streets, and the constant fighting between countries highlight the depravity of sin. We live in a world that strives for utopia but battles an unseen war it doesn't understand. If I only saw the world through the lens of Fox News or MSNBC I would certainly become a cynic.
Napale, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Bahrain, Egypt, Turkey, Ukraine, Germany, Portugal, South Africa, Ethiopia are all countries where I have friends who have told stories of God's work of grace. Each story is a marvelous example of the Holy Spirits work throughout the world.
The Apostle Paul wrote, "We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven."
Paul heard the good news that his fellow worker Epaphras was seeing the fruit of salvation in the town of Colossia. It was an encouragement to Paul who had experienced the discouragement of the spiritual battle. There were divisions in the Corinth and Ephesian churches. He faced opposition from both Jews and Gentiles. He faced death and imprisonment for the gospel. It would be easy for him to become a cynic. Then he hears that God has worked through Epaphras, and his heart is filled with thanksgiving.
Paul knew that living the Christian life in a pagan world is difficult so he prayed constantly for the new believers. He wanted them to persevere in the hope of their new faith. The letter to the Colossians is a written record of his prayer and admonition for them.
Facebook is full of friends who share their experience of faith. I receive newsletters from missionaries telling of God's work. My church sponsors missions trips for us to be involved in the stories. How much time does it take to pray when I hear the good news?
I only have to pray two things. First, to give thanks that God is still working to build His kingdom. Secondly, that the new believers will stand strong and walk in a manner worthy of their calling. This my challenge, and if you join me it will turn our cynicism to optimism as we see the glorious work of our God and savior Jesus. I'm just saying.