Gospel’s relentless hope melts cynicism

By Dave Henning / October 30, 2018

“Cynicism melts under the relentless hope of the gospel.. . .  Bitterness can’t linger under the relentless assault of love.  Hope cannot die if an empty tomb empowers it.”- Carey Nieuwhof

In Chapter 2 (“Kicking Cynicism in the Teeth”) of Didn’t See It Coming, Carey Nieuwhof offers practical ways to defeat your inner cynic.  First, Pastor Nieuwhof states that hope represents the ultimate antidote for cynicism.  Because hope forms the foundation of the Christian faith.

Yet, much of the biblical narrative, Carey notes, contains violence, oppression, and bleakness.  So, the author anticipates this question: How can Christianity be founded on hope?  Pastor Nieuwhof explains:

“God understands . . . how brutal we often are and how awful human nature can be.  God sees how violent we can be toward one another and toward ourselves.  Without God’s intervention, the narrative of the human story, life would be nasty, brutish, and short.  Instead of letting our inhumanity be the final word, God entered the world in human form through Jesus and conquered hate with love.”

Therefore, even though our Savior sees us for who we are, He still loves us.  In addition, Jesus confronted despair.  He made it abundantly clear that despair wouldn’t win.  Furthermore, Pastor Nieuwhof stresses, the thrust of the gospel is  that Jesus sees your:

  • hate – and meets it with love
  • despair – and counters it with hope
  • doubt – and lobs belief back at you again and again

In conclusion, Carey observes, Christians should be the least cynical people on earth.  For the gospel gives us the greatest reasons to hope.  Most noteworthy, our hope rests not in intellectual claims or feelings and emotions.  Rather, our hope lives in Jesus.

Today’s question: What Bible verses restore or sustain relentless hope in your life?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Curiosity – a discipline and viewpoint”

About the author

Dave Henning

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