A couple weeks ago, I started the book “Hoping For Something Better” by Nancy Guthrie. In this very helpful bible study, Guthrie addresses the need that we all feel for something more. We have all spent seasons of life just going through the motions of religion. We have all tried desperately to feel like Jesus actually means more to us than he really does. And sadly, our churches often make the deep emptiness worse by enticing our emotions and creating an environment of manipulation that even if we feel great hope and excitement in the service, we feel a great let down when we walk away and nothing much has changed. I have often found myself in this situation…having the knowledge that I am blessed with many great material blessings, knowing that I have a wonderful family and loving friends, aware of the freedoms that I have and the privileges that are mine but still wanting something to fill my soul with more than just temporary happiness.
In “Hoping For Something Better”, Nancy Guthrie shows that Jesus himself offers the something better we’ve been looking for. She uses the truth that can only be found from the Bible to offer an antidote to the constant nagging of discontent, disappointment and hardships. From the book of Hebrews, Guthrie presents great practical applications that bring hope to a life filled with frustration.
Chapter one covers Hebrews 1:1- 2:4. Here are some of my own observations from the chapter of Guthrie’s book as well as my own interpretation of the scripture.
1. Jesus is better than anything else. As I read this chapter of Guthrie’s book I began to reflect on the priorities in my life. I constantly lament over the desire I have to accomplish more. I have a chronic need for something better. But hypocritically, I tell others about how Jesus is all they need when they come to me with their problems, while I stay wallowing in my own self pity, spending more time on Pinterest and Facebook than I do in the Word of God. If Jesus is better, then shouldn’t I be living that way. Shouldn’t I be seeking him more than I am looking for more money?…more than I am seeking the approval of man?….more than I am striving for a better life?
2.Jesus is God. Ok, so I know this is obvious to most of you who will be reading my blog. We all will openly accept that Jesus is God, right? Well, I feel there is more to it that can provide us with great incite into this concept of living for something more. Because Jesus is God, we have a human, tangible form of God that we can actually know and experience his life. The Gospels are filled with his teachings and his mannerisms and his reactions. So, God, the ultimate in joy, the creator of everything, the giver of all good things, the epitome of love, can be experienced through knowing Jesus. If we are lacking in joy, love, or contentment is only because we don’t the ultimate source of all those things.
3. Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God. That means Jesus’ work is finished. We don’t have to constantly strive to be better. We don’t have to constantly look for something better. Jesus fulfilled it all already and is done, sitting at the right hand of the Father just waiting for us to take it.
4. Jesus is creator. So when the world was created, all three parts of the trinity were present, working together to make the world. God as a whole, created all things…and Jesus is part of that. But where Jesus delineates from the path is that he not only created the earth but he experienced as well, in the same way that we do. Because he is went through so much of the same frustration that we experience…life isn’t quite what we expect, people die, money is tight, physical pain is too much to bear sometimes…he can actually sympathize with us. Shouldn’t we then run to the one who knows the world we are frustrated with not only because he created it, but also because he lived it? Wouldn’t he know best how to free us from the heaviness that the world places upon us?
In the first four verses of chapter 2 we are given a warning. If we don’t hold firmly to these truths, it is easy to drift away. It is easy to be enticed by the world to think that everything else is more important than Jesus. We are constantly persuaded to pour our time into anything but what will actually give us true joy and contentment. We cannot hope to feel true love and fulfillment in Jesus if we are not willing to give up the list of things that come before Jesus on our list of importance. Jesus is better than anything else, but simply knowing that is not enough. If we are not willing to live as if he is we will remain in the same hopeless rut of seeking more and never being satisfied.