The rut of cynicism

I heard about a judge who was hearing the case of a young repeat offender. 

He was getting sick of seeing his face and was about to be harsh.

But something came over him. He started to ask the young man why his life was so hard. What was making things so difficult? 

Then, in the middle of the court room, they started to brainstorm ideas about how his situation could be improved.

Sometimes we get stuck in the rut of cynicism. You know the one. ‘It’s always the same old story. Same junk, different day.’

But a rut is never the whole road. Or, at least, it shouldn’t be.

Paul said: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12). He assumed that cynicism, affliction and doubt would frequently visit our lives—but not define them.

Friends, we are not the happy champions of cynicism. Or despair. Or wet blankets. Nor are we people of “the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:4, KJV). We may pass through it, but we don’t put down roots.

Yes, there are times when we get cynical. It happens to me too. But that’s when we need to call on God and ask him to make us joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer—like that judge who felt the nudge of God and tried to see past his own grumbling assumptions.

Chronic cynicism deflates your confidence that God is on the move. 

But he is.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”


–The Up Devotional is published 5 days a week (Monday-Friday) and returns on August 1, 2022.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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