“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” -C.S. Lewis
Without faith, is it possible to have hope? I believe no. In order to hope, we must have faith in something. Unfortunately we often put our faith in things that will not satisfy… money, relationships, beauty, success, fame, and acceptance. But how often do these things bring us contentment that lasts beyond the initial enjoyment? We seek to gain more money, nicer cars, slimmer bodies, more friends, and more relationships… but do they ever eliminate the deeper turmoil within us? When I started this blog, I decided to try hard not to make it too overtly “Christian”. I know that we all hold different beliefs regarding God and spirituality, so I wanted to keep my “religious” ideas to a minimum in order to discuss ideas we can all agree on (for the most part). But I don’t think I can go any further in explaining how we can live purposeful and healthy lives without directing our attention to the One who created life. Before I go into all of this, I realize that you may not agree with what I say. I don’t, by any means, believe that I have all the answers. God is much bigger than our little minds could ever comprehend and for us to think that God is limited to our personal beliefs is extremely foolish and arrogant. I am just going to share what I have seen to be true in my own life and the lives of others. I also want to point something out…I’m not perfect. I have doubts and questions, flaws and insecurities, and struggles just like everyone else. Please don’t, by any means, think that what I share is in judgment or condemnation. God is still working on my life and I struggle day in and day out. But, it’s what I am about to share, that pulls me through each and every day.
As I was starting to say before, faith has the power to provide hope, security, contentment and joy, if placed in the right thing. How is it possible to achieve peace and contentment without faith in something bigger than ourselves? I personally have placed my faith in God’s love, shown through His provision of grace and mercy through Jesus. Through all of my life experiences and difficulties, I have found this faith to be the only faith capable of pulling me through. I have tried to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment through perfectionism, gaining the approval and acceptance of others, being the person I think people want me to be, and receiving attention from the people around me. I have put every ounce of my being into making others happy and pleased with me, but have only found myself with greater insecurities and a more intense need to seek the approval of others. I honestly can’t say I have conquered this. But what I have found to bring me hope is that God loves us as we are. In fact, He created us the way we are on purpose! He loves us, and that should be enough.
I don’t know if you’ve ever felt trapped in this constant cycle of searching for meaning and purpose yet only feeling emptier inside, and then feeling forced to try harder. There is a way out. Faith in the One who created us in order to allow us to find this beautiful, mysterious, unimaginable peace and contentment is the only way I have found hope to escape my constant internal struggles. God places this desire inside of us for a reason- to point us to Himself. I hope that no matter what it is that you are using to ease your discontentment, you will give the love of God a try. I promise you it is the only means by which I have been able to find peace and meaning despite the chaos of this thing we call life.