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September 21, 2022

Beware of Cynicism and Despair

Key Verse to Read and Treasure

So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labor under the sun (Ecclesiastes 2:20, ESV)   

For Insight

Two of the biggest and most powerful enemies we must wage war against does not come from outside of us but are internal and they are the giant forces of despair and cynicism. Both start in the mind, then with a vengeance spread to the heart, speech, core beliefs, and actions. Both can derail us from God’s plan and promise to prosper us. Derail us from the path of victory and success. Both lead us down rabbit holes that turn into a maze we cannot find our way out without help. Both can set us up for self and other destruction. Without doubt, they are the disposition and nature of the devil, and since he loves to have company in his miserable state he attempts to persuade us to join his cynical and despairing army. The Word of God and sound counsel remind us we should not go gently into that dark path. We should fight it with all our might. We should reject them and choose the nature of Jesus which includes hopefulness and light.

When we read Ecclesiastes we see how Solomon—wise as he was—had a tendency to fall into the clutches of cynicism and despair. Solomon was the wealthiest and wisest man alive. He had tried everything, tested every theory, and experienced every delight humanly possible. But still he found no satisfaction in any of it. Neither his wealth nor power gave him the satisfaction or joy he sought. His despair didn’t come from a hard life, accumulated loss, difficult childhood, abusive relationships, or poverty, as so often happens in the human experience but from seeking and experiencing pleasures and fulfillment outside of God.  

The only way Solomon had victory over despair and cynicism was to turn back to God. He had to come to the conclusion that nothing outside of God would give him the fulfillment and happiness he sought. The only way we will win over despair and cynicism is to do as Solomon did. Seek God, first and see our circumstances and the activities of this world through his eyes.     

Check Yourself:

Have you ever struggled with an attitude of cynicism or despair? if so, how has it impacted your relationships with others or perception of yourself? Have you ever projected these attitudes onto others? If you have, can you identify what you have experienced in life that has opened you up to these giants and would you be willing to let Jesus bring healing and give you victory in this area? What’s your next step?

Praying Ecclesiastes 2:20

Lord, at times we want to give our heart up to despair especially as we become emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually exhausted in this life. Keep us off that dark path and do not let us give in to temptation to despair or become cynical.  Guard us Jesus from cynicism and despair and fill us with your light and joy. Amen  

Digging Deeper

Read Psalm 39:1-6

Read Ecclesiastes 2:18-26

Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-10

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www.dailyencouragementforthesoul.org

Pastor's wife, mother of four adult children, grandmother, Devotional Writer, Biblical Counselor, Mental Health Coach, Women's Life Coach, Avid Encourager of the young and old. Inspiring others to live their best life in Christ. Inspiring new confidence and courage, giving hope, renewing the soul and coming alongside through daily, biblical encouragement.

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