As I remember the dedication that Jesus showed in walking toward the cross, I am reminded that He called His disciples to follow His example. Jesus prayed a prayer of surrender in the Garden of Gethsemane. He prayed that the will of The Father be done.
Here’s a prayer of surrender that I am praying this week…
Holy God, I bow before You and submit my life to You this day.
Take my will, heart, mind, emotions and body. Conform them to Your will.
May the use of my time, resources, and relationships bring You glory. Help me to see people as You see them.
Thank You for loving me despite my sin. Equip me with a greater measure of Your Spirit. Anoint me with spiritual gifts that I may serve Your Body.
Search my life and show me any wicked way in me. Guide me by Your Spirit. May I walk in love, humility and supernatural strength to be what You have called me to be. Amen!
My hope is built on nothing less than…
- Political leaders doing the right thing.
- Government supplying society with justice, equality and basic community services.
- The success of my political ideology.
- My job supplying my needs.
- My career and personal accomplishments.
- A strong U.S. economy.
- My perfect health.
- The realization of the American dream.
- Church connecting me with people who will always be there for me.
- Technology solving my problems and keeping me entertained.
- My intelligence and ability to find my own way out of problems.
- My spouse, children and family.
- Good friends.
- My 401K and investments.
- Safety and security of living in a free country
- The U.S. Constitution and legal system.
- The military might of the United States.
- Global peacekeepers from the UN.
- My good works to help others and humanitarian efforts.
- My trust in the goodness of my fellow man.
- My resume, credentials and life experiences.
- My college degree and education.
- American ingenuity and grit.
- My religious knowledge.
- Me, myself and I.
It can be easy to place our hope in all of the above. But those things will fail us. Edward Mote wrote the hymn titled My Hope is Built. It points to the only real source of hope in the world. Mote wrote, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”
No matter how you feel about the recent healthcare vote or the current course of our country, all Christians must know that the source of our hope is not in the United States of America or even our own personal abilities. Our hope is in Jesus. Our hope is not in the economy or government solutions. Our hope is in the only solid rock. And His name is Jesus.
Disillusioned is how many people would describe their present reality. From crooked politics to the down economy and high unemployment to church scandals to a high divorce rate in our families, it’s easy to see why so many feel as if the real thing is not as good as the product advertised on the commercial.
We buy “it” for the packaging and expect the contents to match our expectations. Frequently, we envision an idealized future that will never be realized. We think that the new job will be nirvana, and it isn’t. Sometimes it is just work. We think we found the perfect spouse only to discover that they have flaws too. We expect our new home to be something out of a dream, and then the pipes break flooding the lower floor. We have three kids, and they mimic our bad behavior and make us want to pull out what hair we have left. We trust in God only to discover that churches are filled with imperfect, broken people.
You get my drift. We (especially me) tend to get idealized pictures that make it difficult for anything to live up to our dreams. A co-worker used to have the following saying pinned on the wall in her office, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.” I believe there is a lot of truth in this statement. While we can’t really eliminate expectations nor should we, we can resign ourselves to reject disillusionment for godly contentment.
I am reminded of what the Apostle Paul wrote, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13).
The Apostle Paul knew the secret was not to let our situation or reality decide our attitude or emotional state. He took a long-term view of things to see past the disappointment in the moment. His trust was in a faithful God who can turn any situation around, even death and despair.
The perfect lie is to trust in the perfection of anything other than God. While there are many good things, there is only one perfect One.