My Grace-Full Life

10.30.19 Praise & Prayer Prompt: The Hope We Crave

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• I tried on a pair of camouflage pants yesterday. They didn’t hide anything about my hips as I hoped they would. Of course, when you’re a curvy, pear-shaped girl, you learn not to expect much of anything to effectively conceal your hips. But the camouflage fabric gave me a false sense of hope. And it let me down.

Just kidding. I did try on camouflage pants, but I wasn’t actually expecting that level of miracle. 

But in all seriousness, there are many times that we do have unrealistic expectations and hopes. 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. And to some degree, we’re all suckers for it. Why do you think infomercials continue to be successful? And, eh-hem, 20 years ago, there might have been a SlamMan in my guest bedroom.

It’s not just infomercials though that I, I mean “people,” have been persuaded by! It’s the same expectant hope that once convinced me to sign up to be a Mary Kay consultant when I never wear makeup; to sell Arbonne when I was just a plain Noxzema and witch hazel girl; and to sell Pampered Chef. Okay, that last one wasn’t that much of a stretch. I really do love me some PChef (as the pros call it). I just stink at selling and asking people to host parties. 

Before I continue—a disclaimer. I’m not making fun of direct sales. I know people who are really good at it and as I said, I love PChef! (Yes, I already have a consultant!) I was just never any good at it and I signed up four times (twice for PChef) before I finally realized it wasn’t for me.

Getting back on track, why do we continue to look for that easy solution when the answer is just a prayer away? 

In Lamentations 3:24 ESV, it says, “‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will 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 him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 ESV). 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. My hips may never be concealed with camo, but my heart will never hide the hope that I’ve found in Jesus!

Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for being all we need for complete satisfaction and contentment. Ask the Holy Spirit to protect you from the temptation to be distracted by false promises and unreliable hopes. Ask Him to help you be centered on Jesus, knowing that only He can fill your heart and guarantee you the very thing your soul craves.

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