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Jesus and Cynicism: a Gospel Call for Real Hope.

We just passed the third Sunday of Advent — a celebration of hope, expectation, and future blessing. But even as we celebrated Sunday morning, the reality is that cynicism is a much more powerful force than hope in our culture today.

Unlike previous generations, most Americans are less optimistic about our future than we were ten years ago.

I wrote this in my journal last week:

“I see the stress I am facing in my life & my own personal struggles with sin AND THEN I see my own personal limitations to handle it. Please God help me.”

I’m willing to bet you have days or weeks like mine.

This feeling of frustration we experience in our personal lives is often reinforced by our external circumstances. In this post 9/11 decade we’ve witnessed wars in Afghanistan & Iraq and we’ve lived amid the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. And we’re still in the middle of all of these situations-terror and economic difficulty are still part of our daily lives.

No one wants cynicism to reign, but sometimes if we’re honest we fear that it will. No one wants cynicism to be the great story.

We want someone with authority to tell us that it isn’t — that there’s something greater, something yet to come in which we can put our hope.

Hope was actually much of what the 2008 election was about when President Obama was elected. His campaign was centered on a message of hope. And it was powerful. I still remember the hundreds of thousands of people who turned out in Grant Park in Chicago to celebrate the night he was elected.

It was an electric moment-anticipation rushed into America in what seemed like the first time in years.

But here we are moving into 2012, another election year, and Obama’s approval rating is according to CBS News at the low point of his presidency at 33%.

Now, I want to be clear–this is not a political message. George W. Bush let down the American people as well. What I want to point out is this: Hope AGAIN has been frustrated. It has turned to cynicism.

Hope, in order not to be just wishful thinking, has to be based on a solid foundation-a foundation much more solid than who our President is and what our political system might be. Our hope, if it is to be lasting, must transcend Barack Obama, George Bush, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry or Ron Paul. We need a person who is far more solid than any of these men who can lead us out of our cynicism.

But who can actually provide a solid basis for such life-giving, cynicism-breaking hope? There is only one who has the power to restore us from our brokenness, who can lead us into hope, restoration and blessing.

And He cannot be elected.

He was, in fact, already born to be your King.

He is Jesus Christ.