We’re officially halfway through the edited edition of “My Grace-Full Life,” and this month – we’re talking about “My Hope-Full Life.” Hope is one of the three greatest things – right between Faith and Love, according to 1 Corinthians 13:13.
We are wired for hope, but too often – we place our hope in all the wrong things! We buy into the promises that something or someone will make our lives better. If we just had THIS or we just had THAT, all would be good and right with the world. Hope tells us that losing 20 pounds will make us happier. We have hope that the perfect job will give us fulfillment. To some degree, we all look for a promise to hope. Why do you think infomercials continue to be successful? (Eh-hem, 20 years ago, there may or may not have been, but probably was, a SlamMan in my guest bedroom.)
But, as we know from so many Scripture references – hope, TRUE hope, is only found in Jesus Christ. So, why do we continue to look for that easy solution when the answer is just a prayer away? The prophet, Jeremiah, wrote in Lamentations 3:24, “’The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I hope in Him!’”
It’s not just the writer of Lamentations’ soul…all souls crave God, whether they acknowledge that truth or not. There’s an entire planet of people who seek to fill a God-shaped hole in their hearts. They may try any number of strategies, but the only true satisfaction comes from the surrender to Christ. Nothing else fills us.
Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Paul knew nothing would fill his heart other than Jesus. Jesus strengthened him and gave him the ability to be content in all circumstances. Jesus gave Paul the ability to praise from a prison cell. I know this truth from personal experience. I tried to fill myself with everything but God. When I finally surrendered, it became clear. Nothing else and no one else will complete me. And because Paul understood hope, he gave it a place of honor in his letter to the Corinthians…. “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” And because of Christ’s love alone – we have hope.
Verse of the Month: Lamentations 3:24
Song of the Month: “Living Hope,” by Phil Wickham
Recommended Reading: Praying Prodigals Home, by Quin Sherrer and Ruthanne Garlock; The Rapture: The Blessed Hope of the Church, by Don Stewart; Six Hours One Friday, by Max Lucado