Dear Cynics,

You feel as if the world is crashing down all around us.  2016 was the worst year ever, and crazy enough, 2017 topped it as the worst year ever.  Nothing seems to make life better. 

I know the feeling.  I used to be you!  And no, I'm not a "Make America Great Again" prophet.  I'm a guy that didn't want to vote for either candidate of the 2016 election.

I am simply a man that has awakened to the beauty that still prominently exists all around us.  It is beauty that so many of us miss.  No, its not just beauty that's seen when your candidate is in office, your favorite sports team wins the championship, or you suddenly come into a large sum of money.  It is beauty that is there, regardless of what is happening all around us.

You may say that's its not about being a pessimist, it is just about being a realist.  I too believe that we should not turn a blind eye to suffering, hate, and plight.  Those tragedies require a loving response.  And I believe a person that still sees the world as beautiful is more prepared to help with that loving response. 

However, try to get back to a feeling you had of hope.  I dare to believe that all of us, in our lifetimes, dream of something grand at one point or another.  It is that unfulfilled dream that has brought about our cynicism and discouragement.

The late-comedian, George Carlin said, "Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist."

Former-President Barack Obama once said, "Cynicism is a sorry kind of wisdom."

I tend to agree with both statements. 

Cynicism is living in such a way that we've either given up on our dreams or have no real expectation of them being fulfilled.  We have to understand that this attitude brings nothing but sadness to ourselves and those around us.

Those feelings we've all had of hope aren't there by accident.  They aren't there because we're not smart enough to see the world as it really works.  They are there because we've recognized beauty and greatness, and we desire to see those things continue to flourish.

I believe God puts hope in the hearts of believers.  However, even Christ-followers can fall into the mode of cynicism. 

The pages of scripture say...

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy." Psalm 103:2-4

"A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones."
Proverbs 14:30

Cynicism literally kills us.  Yet we propagate it by getting sucked into the news, social media storms, and by hanging onto the simple pride of just being "right".  Being cynical becomes an excuse to do nothing--even when the world really needs you!

I'm thankful to serve a God who intends for us not to live cynical lives.  I'm thankful that I can rejoice in Him always!

The beauty is out there--you just need to open your eyes to it.  I challenge you to shut your eyes and imagine a young couple welcoming the arrival of their highly anticipated newborn child.  Imagine innocence, forgiveness, love, peace, and compassion. 

Counter to that, you might say to imagine all of the hurt, disaster, and evil that makes its way through our world every day.  My question is "what are we trying to protect?"  The beauty, right?  Then, let's do something constructive about the things threatening our world.  Let's not let the dream die.

Obviously, I believe that the dream put into our hearts comes from our Creator.  He puts vision and desire in our hearts to accomplish His purposes, in which there is nothing more fulfilling or greater.  We need to seek Him, and He will reveal those things to us.

So to all my cynical friends out there (if you actually made it this far into the post)--DON'T GIVE UP!  Chase the dream.  Ask God to give you the joy of living for Him!