Unshakable Hope

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

What Are You Seeking?

I follow a Bible reading plan every year, and the plan I’m following this year begins with John’s Gospel. I’ve always thought it was much more than a coincidence that the first words spoken by Jesus (in John’s Gospel) come in the form of a very profound question; it’s a question that everyone should know the answer to:

“What are you seeking? (John 1:38)

When I read that question on January 1st, I paused to think about what I should be seeking this year. I believe that our New Year’s Resolutions, or lack of, tell a lot about what we’re seeking. The following is a list of the top ten New Year’s Resolutions for 2014. Other than showing that we smoke too much, spend too much, sit too much and eat too much, what does this list tell us about the American people?

  1. Lose weight.
  2. Improve finances.
  3. Exercise more.
  4. Get a new/better job.
  5. Eat healthier.
  6. Manage stress better.
  7. Quit smoking.
  8. Improve a relationship.
  9. Quit procrastinating.
  10. Set aside time for yourself.

Besides being obsessed with our bodies and being guilt-ridden over repeatedly doing the things we don’t like, it seems to me that we’re focused on treating symptoms instead of the disease. I think all of these resolutions are good, but notice that none of the top 10 resolutions are in any way spiritual. Maybe that’s why only around ten percent of those that make resolutions succeed in keeping them. And of that ten percent that succeeds at conquering a habit or addiction, a large percentage of those will simply replace that habit or addiction with an equally destructive behavior. It seems that we’re trying, and mostly failing, to fight the flesh with the flesh.

Jesus and the Apostles tell us that we should be seeking the things whichpeace quote lead to peace. Not “world peace,” but our inner-peace. I’m not a psychiatrist or an addiction counselor, but it seems to me that a lack of inner-peace is at least partially, if not mostly, to blame for the majority of our bad habits, addictions, bad attitudes and other negative behaviors.

“For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace…” “So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.” (Romans 8:6 & 14:19)

I haven’t yet perfected this inner-peace thing, but I’ve come a long way over the last ten or fifteen years. I’ve discovered that seeking peace through doing things like reading the Bible, prayer, listening to sermons and having like-minded friends, including blog friends, will greatly increase our sense of peace. If our primary focus is on seeking peace—the Prince of peace, we make Christ our partner in overcoming addictions and bad habits and bad attitudes.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Even if you’ve already broken your resolutions, reset your priorities and start over again. Make seeking peace your number one goal and it will increase your joy and hope and give you the strength to conquer your “demons.”

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

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113 thoughts on “What Are You Seeking?

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  1. Reblogged this on studiotj and commented:
    I saw this post and immediately wanted to share it. it includes one of my favorite bible verses: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)”. I hope you will take the time to read it and allow it to marinate in your spirit. Have a peaceful day!

  2. Hey Bill,
    I just wanted to stop by and let you know that you are in my continued prayers. I have not been posting here much recently… trying to work on my book…. but always thinking of you all… Your posts are always better than church for me!
    God bless YOU!

  3. “It seems that we’re trying, and mostly failing, to fight the flesh with the flesh.” … something I needed to hear today, Bill!

  4. You make some very good points! Bless you.

  5. Your list was such a reflection of the barrenness of our material obsessed society today. So sad that so many are missing out on that inner peace which is theirs to be grasped.
    Thank you for reminding me of the gift of inner peace that Jesus gave to me last year, this year and forever more.
    God Bless You 🙂

  6. Lots of people are even looking for what they do know what, and put most of their hopes onto material things are in people from this world.

    Not only Americans are generally more concerned with their bodies than seeking after God. In all the industrialised countries people are more concerned how they look like and about what others would think about them. That last part also hinders them to talk about their faith or to discuss what they believe. How many who call themselves Christian dare to talk in public about their faith? How many of them are really reading regularly the teachings of whose name they bear? Are they seeking to know the teachings of Jesus Christ? Are they seeking to follow Jesus and willing to do not their will but the will of the Father of Christ who is also their Father?

    Jesus, the son of God, the son of man, the son of Abraham, never wanted to be worshipped and never wanted to be his will. He only wanted to do the Will of his Father and wanted the people around him also to look, not for him, but for the only One and True God, Jehovah. It is Him we should seek in the first instance and Jesus is the one who can help us to find Him. But than we should also listen to him and be willing to find his heavenly Father.

    Obsession with self, obsession with entertainment and self-satisfaction has to be done with. To be able to find we do have to look sincerely and to do that we also have to get rid of all dogmatic teachings and to be prepared to listen to the Word of God and find it in Scriptures like it is written there black on white not in a confusing languages of dogma’s but in clear language for everybody understandable when they are willing to take those words at hearth, like they are written in the Book of books, the Bible.

    I do agree, it will take courage and demand some time and work, but faith without works is dead. (James 2:26)

  7. #10 is my favorite: Make time for yourself. I find it hardest to do that. I am always doing for others. That’s what mothers and Grandmothers do best. It is important for me as I reach into the fall of my life that I do take more time for myself. Time to think, read, rest and just enjoy what is around me at that particular moment. Not to think about what needs to be accomplished in the next 24 hours. Just the moment right now. I’ll take your advice and take time for me. Thanks.

  8. Hi Bill-
    Hope all is well as can be well.

    ‘Good question at the top, ‘what are you seeking? More importantly, what is my response to that ques. Good stuff.

    As a side note- I have listened to a short song countless times now, and I was wondering if you had the chance to hear it. You know Joni Eareckson Tada, probably. Well, she has never been known to be a singer, but artist and writer, etc.

    Please see the link on my page and follow the instructions; it is important to get the order correct before you listen to the song. First the video by the Academy, then read the entire article then listen to the song.

    The thought occurred to me that she has long been making music with her life before she even sang a note. Tell me if this finds a good place in you.

    I would like to hear your thoughts,
    tkx
    jack

  9. Great post Bill !! I re-posted it today in hope of encouraging others to feed on the Word (Matthew 4:4), instead of those goodies !!

    Blessings in Christ, bruce

  10. Pingback: “What Are You Seeking?” 1/25/2014 | God's group

  11. I love when you say, “it seems to me that we’re focused on treating symptoms instead of the disease. I think all of these resolutions are good, but notice that none of the top 10 resolutions are in any way spiritual.” because it ring home, and tells me to get spiritual with my resolutions if I want to see them through 🙂

  12. Right on. Loved this right here:
    “Even if you’ve already broken your resolutions, reset your priorities and start over again.”

  13. I appreciate your insightful assessment of the Standard American Resolutions, Bill.

  14. “What are you seeking?” Peace… That is what we need–I know I do. Blessings! – A 🙂

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