By Kristine Brown
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15)
Discouraging headlines top the evening news. Clashing opinions fill our social media feeds. Kids are surrounded by negativity online. Is it any surprise they would be affected by the cynicism they hear every day? Yet we know God wants us to have hope. Paul teaches in Romans 5:2 that we should “boast in the hope of the glory of God.” So as parents, how do we teach our kids to be hopeful in an increasingly cynical world?
1. Ask ourselves one question: Am I overflowing with hope?
Even though outside influences bombard our kids daily, no one has more influence over their attitudes than their parents. Changing my own actions and words can alter the entire atmosphere of our home. The best thing we can do to instill hope is to demonstrate it.
2. Look for the however in hurtful situations.
There is expectation in the word however. It speaks contrast. It declares promise, and we need that. We need the hope of a silver lining in hurtful times because we will have troubles. And as much as we’d like to shelter them from the pains of life, our kids will have troubles, too. So it’s critical for them to understand God’s desire to teach us great things through difficult situations.
3. Don’t accentuate the negatives. They get enough attention as it is.
Awareness can bring about positive change, but it can also be a burden on our children, who may feel powerless. And when kids don’t think they have a fighting chance, cynicism results. What’s the use? Nothing’s ever going to change anyway. Why even bother?
We will springboard radical change in our homes using these steps and Scripture as a guide. Most importantly, let’s hold onto this truth. God is hope. And He gave it to us through His precious son. “In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” (1 Peter 1:3).
When we trust in that promise, we can counteract cynicism and doubt with optimism and belief. Hope begins here, with us.
A Prayer for Raising Hopeful Kids in a Cynical World
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the living hope I have today through your Son, Jesus Christ. There is nothing more wonderful. Help my kids to know the magnitude of that hope, as I show it through my words and actions. When we are tempted to be cynical, restore our joy and renew our attitudes. You are bigger than any problem in this world. I declare today that my family will focus on Your goodness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Biblical worship invades the human soul. It is the soul that too often has been banished from modern worship. We are a people preoccupied with self-image, self-esteem, and self-gratification. Yet in all this we don’t even know what a “self” is.
The human soul is in exile from our thinking. No wonder, then, that it is not considered relevant to worship. Heaven is too distant to contemplate. Our lives are lived within the restricted boundaries of our terrestrial horizon. We have so despised the notion of pie in the sky that we have lost our taste for it altogether.
But when our souls are engaged in worship, our gaze is lifted heavenward, our hearts are set aflame by the divine fire, and we are ready to be done with this world. There is such a thing as mystic sweet communion with Christ in worship.
I’m speaking about something that goes beyond emotion (but includes it); that transcends passion (but doesn’t annul it); that penetrates to the deepest core of our being, where we sense—nay, we know—that we are in the presence of the living God.
Coram Deo: Living in the Presence of God
Spend some quiet time in worship, asking God to set your heart aflame with His divine fire.
For Further Study
Psalm 7:17: “I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.”
Psalm 28:7: “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.”
Psalm 107:8: “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!”
The mission, passion and purpose of Ligonier Ministries and Dr. R.C. Sproul is to help people grow in their knowledge of God and His holiness. For more information, please visit www.ligonier.org or call them at 800-435-4343.