Return and Rest, Isaiah 30:15, Alexander MacLaren’s notes

For the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said: “You will be delivered by returning and resting; your strength will lie in quiet confidence. But you are not willing.”
-Isaiah 30:15

I believe that we need to return and rest.  I used to read this verse as, \”In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.\”  We do need to repent.  Repentance is turning away from sin, but the idea here, from the words chosen, is that repenting is returning; coming home to God.

We repent from and return to.  Repentance is returning.
The idea that Isaiah is speaking against, or the ailment for which he speaks the cure; is doing our own thing and not resting.  And this is a word for believers.
The believers were in trouble.  They needed deliverance.  God gave them a way.  And they said, \”no thanks.\”
How can this be and how might we be like this?
  • They and we are believers who won\’t repent.
    • Self-righteous.
    • Unbelieving believers.
    • We belong to God, but refuse to be transformed.
    • We are sheep without a shepherd, gone astray, to our own ways.
  • They and we would not rest.
    • We are busy building our houses, our lives, our selves.
    • We are burned out and need renewal.
    • We are stale and need refreshing.
    • We are dead and need reviving.
    • We don\’t hear God, because we won\’t stop and listen long enough.
    • We are frustrated that God won\’t help us build, when He want\’s us to let Him build.
  • They and we were constant talkers.
    • We have an opinion on everything.
    • We have lost that listening is loving.
    • We quietness is a sign of faith.
I want to repent and return to God.  I want to rest.  And I want to be quiet.
These are my notes from Alexander MacLaren\’s Isaiah commentary:

We depart from God by speculative thought or by anxious care, or by sin.
To ‘return’ is just to trust.
Note, too, that every want of confidence is a departure from God. We go away from Him not only by open sin, not only by denial of Him, but by forgetfulness, by want of faith.
‘Rest’ and ‘being quiet’ are treated here partly as consequences of faith.
See how confidence in God stills and quiets the soul.
Communion with Him brings peace and rest, inasmuch as all things are then possessed which we can desire. 
Trust in God brings rest from our own evil consciences.
It brings rest from our own plans and purposes.
Trust gives insight into the meaning of all this else unintelligible world.
Rest is not:
  • the absence of causes of disturbance.
  • the abnegation of forethought.
  • indolent passiveness.
Notice the duty of being thus quiet and resting.
How much we fail in this respect.
We have faith, but there seems some obstruction which stops it from flowing refreshingly through our lives.
We are bound to seek for its increased continuity and power in our hearts and lives.
Trust is the condition of being ‘saved.’
And not only so, but also trust is strength. God works for us; yes, but better than that, God works in us and fits us to work.
Stillness of soul, born of communion with God, makes us strong.
Stillness of soul, born of deliverance from our fears, makes us strong.
Trust, so shall we be at rest and safe. Being at rest and safe, we shall be strong. If we link ourselves with God by faith, God will flash into us His mysterious energy, and His strength will be made perfect in our weakness.

Despising Jesus

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was.
He was like someone people turned away from; he was despised, and we didn’t value him.

-Isaiah 53:3
Do you feel like you are dismissed (‘dissed’), considered worthless, unworthy of attention?

The word despised in Isaiah, is the Hebrew word, baza, pronounced “baw-zaw”.

Baza means:

To despise, hold in contempt, to be despicable, to be vile, worthless, to cause to despise, to disesteem, contemptible, think to scorn, vile person.

You might ask, “Why would anyone feel this way, respond this way or act this way towards Jesus?”

Gentle, wise, kind, loving, healing, compassionate, honest, godly, and in fact; God.

Why would we despise Jesus?

Two words:
Self righteousness
People who hated Jesus were self-righteous, morally superior.  Self-righteous, morally superior people do not like the message of justification by faith.  That message says we are all bad, only God is good, we can do nothing to save ourselves, and we must wholly put our faith in God, by faith, to be saved, period.
No hamburger helper, nothing good in us that can get us saved or into the salvation box.
Self-righteous, morally superior people hate that.  They do not one bit want to lay down their works, their opinions and their power, and bow to God and be his children.
Jesus may not have looked good to them.  He may have had an accent.  He may have been ‘too country’.

He was despised because he was from Galilee (John 1:46) and his followers were despised because they were Galilean (Mark 14:70).

Jesus was also despised because he was poor (Matt. 17:27, 2 Cor. 8:9).  If we despise the poor, we are in danger of despising their savior (Matt. 5:3).

But that is not the core of why they found him to be deplorable, despicable, and a horror show to them.
They hated him and they still hate his message today, because they are self-righteous.
Self-righteousness says I can save myself, help God, or have God help me do it.  And I can judge others, because I am morally superior.
Jesus came as a suffering servant.  And this is part of why people rejected him.  Messiah was supposed to be something different, in their minds.

Jesus said to his followers, who were close to him, “Blessed is the one who does not take offense with me”.  Today, we get offended with everyone and with anything.  To not vent offense is a discipline and a blessing for those who control themselves.

Jesus comes in a package they were not expecting.  He comes to call sinners and not the righteous.  And the self-righteous are not righteous but are the greatest sinners!  Because they reject God’s grace and do not love God, but idolize themselves and inadvertently serve Satan, who leads the way in narcissism and rebellion against God.
People who get it and follow Jesus are sinners saved by grace through faith.  It’s all about the Savior and his faithfulness and grace.  The life of good works comes from that.  After: “Saved unto good works”.

They were offended that he was a carpenter’s son, who did not even go to seminary (Matt. 13:53-57).  Are you offended or do you despise people who you think are not qualified?

People were so put off by Jesus, that they said he must be demonized (John 10:20).  He was despicable to them.  We play this same “demonized” card against those we don’t like or messengers we are not comfortable with.  And in the world, this language is to say, “mentally unstable or ill”.

In their despising of him, they kept asking him, in a sense, “Who do you think you are, to say such things?” (John 8:53)

They were highly critical of him, in their contempt; noting that none of the elites followed him (John 7:48).  Elitism is not a good thing!

And they despised Jesus and were prejudiced against him, based on a fake story, unreal and untrue: a misunderstanding a misrepresentation of the facts, that he must have been born in Nazareth (John 7).  He was in fact, as we know today, born in Bethlehem, as prophesied in the OT.  But, not getting their facts right, they despised Jesus, because of where he was from: despising that place and him with it and it’s people, when in fact, he was originally from Bethlehem.

The leadership of the day was so corrupt, that they missed Jesus and despised him.  When they could not deny that he was truly casting out demons, setting people free, they said he was doing it by the power of Satan (Matt. 12:24).  That’s despising.

The elites and the elitism that rejected Jesus, kicked his followers out of the Synagogues (John 9:22; 12:42), excommunicating them.  That is despising.

Today, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is despised and rejected for similar reasons, as it was in the first century.  Jesus saves completely by grace: the unwashed, uncouth, vulgar, uneducated and ‘deplorable’ person.  That is offensive to some learned, elite and religious people.

The simplicity of salvation by grace through faith vexes and perplexes humanity that wants to be proud of its achievements and wield power.

See the naked peasant hanging dead, after hours of torture.  Whom God later raised from the dead  And who calls upon us to follow him, as king.  And there is nothing we can bring but ourselves.  We must give up everything to be his followers, including our prejudices, wealth and positions of power.

That is massively offensive to many and they despise that message.  They end up as enemies of the cross, despising Jesus work in the world, of saving sinners through grace and by faith.  Our lives end up being a work of calling people to follow us in our religion after the Bible, by our own interpretation, that opposes the cross (Philippians 3:18).

Being offended is a favorite indoor sport.  We become offended with Jesus when we decide what he should do or what he did was wrong.  We despise him.  But, blessed are we if we are not offended with him (Matt. 11:6).

Let’s look at a number of ways that Jesus was despised and consider how we  might despise him or his work in his followers today.

Jesus was despised because he ate meals with ‘sinners’.  You could make the case that this is what got him killed, because it was so offensive to the religious leaders.

Jesus continually ate and drank, shared meals, with the social outcasts.  How much do we do what Jesus did and how much do we despise those Christians today who actually spend table fellowship time with people we deem to be sinful?

The temptation of Jesus by Satan was a sort of invitation to Christ to take the easy way: make bread, leap off religious towers and worship Satan to leverage influence.  In a nutshell, avoid suffering, avoid the cross.

Jesus did not take up Satan’s offer or follow his suggestions.  Instead of the easy way, Jesus goes the hard way, that turns out to be the redemptive way.

Satan’s words were echoed later by the masses of people, who taunted Jesus when he was dieing on the cross:  “If you are the Son of God, come down from there”.  Suffering is despised.

The cross, Jesus on the cross, is foolishness to those who reject him and despise him.  The cross and the gospel of Christ says that you need the cross, you need Christ, whether you are rich or poor, educated or ignorant, moral or immoral.  We despise the cross because it lays humanity flat: everyone equally needs the cross and salvation by Christ.

Christians who preach the gospel, that comes from Jesus and goes through his cross, will be loved and hated.  We will make some people glad and some people mad.  That is what the real Jesus does.

When no one ever gets mad at you for your message, we have to question whether you have been sharing the good news.  Jesus lives in the paradox of being love, wisdom, mercy and grace; while making some people furious.  That is the life he will live through you, if you are a Christian.

Today, we also despise weakness and suffering.  We live in the paradox of our loving all-powerful God and suffering.

The ultimate suffering was God himself suffering on the cross to atone for the sins of all humanity.

The cross, Jesus on the cross, is offensive and something to be dissed, dismissed and despised.  The reason it is so offensive is that Jesus on the cross says that there is no good in you and me outside of him.  We are mortally infected and death sentenced by our sins: utterly corrupt.

And the greatest sin is self-righteousness wherein I either make my own religion, where I am the center and I redeem myself; or I think I am worshipping the God of the Bible, yet I am saving myself or meriting my saving through my goodness.

Today, there is a moral superiority movement, that is human centered and based on human wisdom.  The way, the only and one way of  the cross is despised and dismissed or seen as a human belief that works for some.

They despised Jesus for who he was, what he did, and for the company he kept.  Because he did not follow the ‘traditions of the elders’, they despised him.

He was the author and the source of the very word of God.  Yet, tradition was preferred and assiduously adhered to, rather than following the God of the word (Mark 7, Matt. 17 and 23).

Today, we can either despise Jesus or embrace Jesus.  To embrace Jesus fully, we have to embrace the cross, a life of suffering, a life lived in and under radical grace, and a life of love.

When we leave out the cross, his cross and ours; we are despising him.

When we avoid suffering, try to skip it, cast it out, believe against it, and live a pain-free, pain-avoiding life; we are despising him and not walking with him, miserably going it alone or living in victorious denial.  The authentic Christian life is a life where we share in the sufferings of Christ.

When we add anything to God’s grace, for our salvation, we are despising Jesus.  Nothing I do merits favor or makes me better.

The story of God, his story, is the love story.  God loves people.  They despised Jesus because he really loved people.  He sat with people, was always willing to be interrupted by people, always had time for people.

The cross life, suffering embraced in fellowship with Christ, radical, nothing more and nothing less grace; and a life of lived in love, being loved and loving people.  That is the life that does not despise him, but highly values and honors him always; as king.

____________________________________
Bibliography:

Robert Newton, Messiah
Charles Spurgeon, The Offense of The Cross
Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew
Patrick Henry Reardon, The Jesus We Missed: The Surprising Truth About the Humanity of Christ
Herbert Anderson and Edward Foley, Mighty Stories, Dangerous Rituals: Weaving Together the Human and the Divine
David Baron, The Servant of Jehovah: The Sufferings of the Messiah and The Glory That Should Follow

Happy Days Are Here, Again

Happy days are here, again.  We are in a new season.  A road is opening up.

We are in a time of God’s favor.  We do not have to wait any longer for the new time.  It is here.    

God is doing turnarounds in the lives of people.  What people have been waiting for, saying, “how long oh Lord?”, is happening.  Authentic desires, requests and dreams that have seemed impossible are happening right now.

Optimism is overcoming pessimism.  Belief, trust and hope will drown out cynicism.  Mourning will give way to dancing.

Dreams are coming true.  There is an open invitation being given, for a happier life.

From 2 Corinthians and Isaiah 49:

Working together with Him, we also appeal to you, “Don’t receive God’s grace in vain.” For He says:

I heard you in an acceptable time,
and I helped you in the day of salvation.
Look, now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation.

This is what the Lord says:

I will answer you in a time of favor,
and I will help you in the day of salvation.
I will keep you, and I will appoint you
to be a covenant for the people,
to restore the land,
to make them possess the desolate inheritances,
saying to the prisoners: Come out,
and to those who are in darkness: Show yourselves.
They will feed along the pathways,
and their pastures will be on all the barren heights.
They will not hunger or thirst,
the scorching heat or sun will not strike them;
for their compassionate One will guide them,
and lead them to springs of water.
I will make all My mountains into a road,
and My highways will be raised up.
See, these will come from far away,
from the north and from the west,
and from the land of Sinim.

Shout for joy, you heavens!
Earth, rejoice!
Mountains break into joyful shouts!
For the Lord has comforted His people,
and will have compassion on His afflicted ones.
-2 Corinthians 6:2, Isaiah 49:8-13

We are in a time of favor.  But some of us, and that may even be the vast majority of us, have not recognized this.  We are still shaking off the old season.

It does not work to act like it is winter when it is spring, nor summer when it is fall.  We are going to be like bear cubs, who were born during hibernation, who are awakening to a whole new life.

Some us are afraid of the new time, because we are so full of disappointment, from the old season, that we are afraid of being permanently passed over.

God is saying to us, “I have never forgotten you.  I have never stopped loving you.  I have been with you through all the suffering.  Your sorrow has been befor me all along.  Do not worry.  Continue to grow in trust.”

Take a look at the next three verses, in Isaiah 49:

Zion says, “The Lord has abandoned me;
The Lord has forgotten me!”
“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
or lack compassion for the child of her womb?
Even if these forget,
yet I will not forget you.
Look, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
your walls are continually before Me.
-Isaiah 49:14-16

We are realizing that God has been with us in unhappiness.  He never turned away.  This process or realization is like a catapult.

The more I know that God has been good to me, the more that I can enjoy Him and what He has for me in times going forward.  If I do not know that God has been with me in the desert, I will not know how to walk and receive and lay hold of the life God has for me in the land of promises fulfilled.

Happy days are here, again.  A time of favor is here, again.

Be consoled.  Your dreams are not cancelled.  Your prize or reward has always been God’s love.

See your life in God’s hands.  What will God do?

The Signal: The Ensign of God

On that day, the root of Jesse will stand as a signal to the peoples.  The nations will seek him out, and his dwelling will be glorious.
On that day, the Lord will extend his hand a second time to reclaim the survivors of God’s people who are left from Assyria and from Egypt, from Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea.
God will raise a signal for the nations and gather the outcast men of Israel.  God will collect the dispersed women of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
-Isaiah 11:10-12

There is going to be great clarity in the earth about salvation.

The earth will be like a valley of battle for the souls of humankind.  Up on a mountain or high hill, there is a rallying banner or ensign, that serves as a signal.  That banner or signal is Christ.

Christ, The Lord Jesus Christ, who is the root of Jesse; is the banner, the signal, the ensign of God, beckoning humankind to salvation.

We know that salvation is through Jesus, but somehow that simple message has not gotten through to the whole earth, but that is going to change.

It’s like the signal is going to change.  People have been looking for the way, the green light to go to God.  They have only seen red, but that is about to change.  People who’s deepest desire is to find the way have not found it, but it is going to be made clear.  The people will see Jesus as the way and will rush towards him.

The word that most modern translations render as “signal”, was translated as “ensign” in the King James and Revised Standard Versions.  The Hebrew word is “nace”, which means a flag, sail, or flagstaff; a signal, a banner, pole, ensign, or standard.  It is something that gleams from afar.  It is something conspicuous as a signal, like a flag fluttering in the wind, or a beacon raised.

Moving In The Opposite Spirit of Cynicism

In this post, I want to share the idea that we can move in the opposite spirit that our flesh wants to take us.  We get to do something in our spiritual growth.  We get to walk by the Spirit and add more into our spiritual lives, like someone adding weights at the gym or increasing the distance or altitude of their walk, run, or hike.  And all of the good fruit that we’re seeking to move in doesn’t come from our efforts, but from Christ.  He paid for the exchange.  Following him means we get the exchange, the “in place of” or “instead of”.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.  Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,  idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy,[a] drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”  Galatians 5:16-24 (ESV) [a. Some manuscripts add murder.]

“By his divine power the Lord has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of the one who called us by his own honor and glory. Through his honor and glory he has given us his precious and wonderful promises, that you may share the divine nature and escape from the world’s immorality that sinful craving produces.
   This is why you must make every effort to add moral excellence to your faith; and to moral excellence, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, endurance; and to endurance, godliness; and to godliness, affection for others; and to affection for others, love. If all these are yours and they are growing in you, they’ll keep you from becoming inactive and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Whoever lacks these things is shortsighted and blind, forgetting that they were cleansed from their past sins.
   Therefore, brothers and sisters, be eager to confirm your call and election. Do this and you will never ever be lost. In this way you will receive a rich welcome into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.”  2 Peter 1:3-11 (CEB)

The Lord has given us everything we need.  We have to procure it, desire it, take hold of it, get activated in it, and develop it.  From the beginning, men and women have had to do something towards God and towards their own spiritual growth.  It has always been a partnership and a covenant where both sides do something.  This is in no way to be confused with you earning your spiritual place or saving yourself.  It is always with God and towards God, even when you are “in the dark” and have no sense of God.

What will I give my attention to, gaze at, look for, or move in and towards?  What we give our attention to is what we become.  You could call this the beholding – becoming principle.  If you constantly focus on not doing bad things, then you may become a person of good law; like a good police person or judge; and then as a Christian, your witness becomes that.  If you are just a love person, saying “all you need is love”, without mentioning our savior; then as a Christian, you convey a cross-less Christianity where we can all just say we’re sorry and hold hands in a circle.

It is about love and it is about doing good, but we can only love because God loves and we can only do good through God because of Christ.  The person who has become cynical is constantly focused on the wrong thing: they have a warped lens.   We can intentionally change the lens and start living differently, feeding our souls on the opposite of the hurtful, heart sick, and bitter ways of cynicism.

Earlier, I wrote about how the ugly by-product of burnout is cynicism.  Burnout is the result of lack of rest.  Burnout may also be the result of continual disappointment that has not been put to rest.  Loses need to be grieved.  Grief is a gift from God.

If you have a disappointment and you don’t make appointments to meet with God, you start to believe that disappointment is the rule or way of life and you feed off it.  As the saying goes, “you are what you eat”.  Burnout needs rest and a plugging back into God for renewal and refreshment.  Burnout not turned to God goes into cynicism.  What if your disappointment is all the time: “my life is a disappointment”?  Then you need to get a new life.  You can see the kingdom of God unless you are born again.  Maybe you need new birth in some areas. 

The believer’s walk with God results in the fruit of God.  We have to do something: Walk by the Spirit and partake of Jesus in communion with him.  Do you commune with Jesus?  We become like the people we spend time with. 

The Christian life is not getting in a wheel barrow and having Jesus or other brothers and sisters carry us.  Actually Jesus paid for the road he wants us to walk on and other brothers and sisters are meant to help us along the way.  Along the journey, we get to hear each others story and share our dreams and encourage one another as we walk by the Spirit and partake of Christ in community.

We have to move in the ways of God, rather than just standing against the ways of hell or the works, ways, thoughts, ideas, and arguments of the flesh.  Some Christians are known for what they don’t do or for what they are against, but Jesus said his followers would be known by their love.  What are you for?  What do you vote “yes” to, with your feet, and with your words and thoughts and deeds?  Those that love, naturally don’t do destructive things.  Those that love God love as God loves.  They love their neighbor and love themselves.  How are you doing with love?

Some people are so afraid of legalism or earning their place in God through works, that they are phobic or allergic to doing.  The phrase, “just do it”, when applied to the Christian life even scares them.  To that person, I say this:  What I am writing about starts in your thoughts, in your being.  It is all about looking at your savior who did it all.  It has all already been done for you. I believe in the church of the walking wounded. We don’t wait till we are ready to go or to fight or to work.  We don’t pretend we are not wounded or broken, but we know that God uses wounded and broken people.

When we have a negative in our lives, like cynicism; we need to move in the opposite spirit.

Please look at Isaiah 61, especially verse 3:

“The Lord God’s spirit is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me.
He has sent me
to bring good news to the poor,
to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim release for captives,
and liberation for prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and a day of vindication for our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
to provide for Zion’s mourners,
to give them a crown in place of ashes,
oil of joy in place of mourning,
a mantle of praise in place of discouragement.
They will be called Oaks of Righteousness,
planted by the Lord to glorify himself.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins;
they will restore formerly deserted places;
they will renew ruined cities,
places deserted in generations past.”

Isaiah 61:1-4 (CEB)

I learned about moving in the opposite spirit from wonderful Graham Cooke:  God wants to give us the opposite of the negative.  He has an instead of or in place of for us.  Instead of cynicism, God wants to give us a trusting, optimistic spirit.  Do you know who the most optimistic and positive person is?  This person is also the most intelligent person in the world and loves Jesus more than anything.  You might have guessed.  The Holy Spirit.  He wants to fill our lives.  He’s not a bit discouraged, cynical, or disillusioned.

All the facets and manifestations of cynicism have been getting free reign in the lives of some people.  God wants to replace these negatives with godly positives.  Each of the positives are our new map.  As we travel in God in them and toward God in them, we grow in God in them, deeper.

Cynical definitions and opposites:

In place of: Negativity

  • Positivity

In place of: Distrust

  • Trust

In place of: Disdain: {To regard or treat with haughty contempt; despise.  To consider or reject as beneath oneself.  A feeling or show of contempt and aloofness; scorn.  From Old French desdeign, from desdeigner to reject as unworthy. Disregard, despise, hate, indifference, and arrogance.}

  • Admiration, love, favor, praise, respect, honor, esteem, adore, cherish, accept, toleration, veneration, appreciation.

In place of: Skepticism:

  • Optimism, trust, faith

In place of: Sarcasm

  • Kindness, praise, accolade, commendation, or compliment

In place of: Misanthropic (distrustful, suspicious)

  • Trusting, unsuspicious, cheerful, optimistic,  idealist, romantic, and sentimental.

In place of: Sardonic (disdainfully or skeptically humorous : derisively mocking)

  • Gentle, playful, amusing, gracious, affable, diplomatic, and hospitable.

Moving in the opposite spirit from cynicism is described below: 

  • Positivity: being a positive person.

  • Trust: trusting, willing to trust, willing to give a chance, to give permission.

  • Admiration
    • love 
    • favor 
    • praise 
    • respect 
    • honor 
    • esteem 
    • love
    • adore
    • cherish
    • accept
    • toleration
    • veneration 
    • appreciation

  • Optimism
    • faith

  • Kindness 
    • praise 
    • accolades
    • commendations 
    • complimentary

  • Unsuspicious 
    • cheerful 
    • idealistic 
    • romantic
    • sentimental

  • Gentle 
    • playful
    • amusing
    • gracious
    • affable 
    • diplomatic
    • hospitable

These are ways that are the opposite of cynical.  These are a list of the ways that are not natural for the person who has been cynical as a defense.  To come out of cynicism it is not enough to just stop it, but doing the opposite dis-empowers it and the enemy’s power in the sinful, fleshly realm.

There are 7 points and 30 sub-points.  These are just my notes, my sketch of what the opposite of cynicism is to me.  A work in progress.  I might have left dimensions out that apply to your experience.  You can do the same thing: writing down the negative and then the opposite.  They are not affirmations, but positive thrusts at the negative ways that cynicism manifests in the person who is burned out.

When you move in the opposite of the ways of the sinful nature or in destructive ways, you are moving in harmony with God’s ways: loving, gracious, faithful, hopeful, wise, or merciful; for example, and God gains ground and the enemy loses ground in you life.  When this process happens, you are growing towards becoming the person God sees you as in the future.  You can make a prayer list of these positive opposites.  When we are heart sick in burnout, we are not inspired to pray.  These exercises can help you pray.

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