Before marrying my wife, I was in a “serious” relationship with a woman I thought I’d marry. I was saving up for a ring, we were talking about our future kids, and we even began looking at neighborhoods we’d like to live in.
If I’m honest, I put my entire hope in her. I would not have said so at the time, but she was my god. I offered sacrifices at her altar daily, and I based my entire life around her wants, needs, schedule, and interests.
I didn’t realize how bad it was until she broke it off. I was devastated. I’ve probably never cried more in my life than I did during that season. My god let me down—and I felt empty.
Paul’s words here in Romans 5 were the words I needed that that time. He tells the church in Rome:
Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ… This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
– Romans 5:1,5
I didn’t listen to those words at first, but I learned their truth in the midst of my suffering. Placing my hope in another person was futile. She was a sinner just as much as me, and she could never bear the weight of my worship.
People aren’t built to be gods. Neither are jobs or hobbies or riches or even our best attempts at good works. None of these can fully satisfy. They’re all created things. Only the Creator deserves and can handle our worship and dependence.
If we confess Jesus as Lord, we become adopted into God’s family. “And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” (Galatians 4:6). Our Father loves us and wants us to place our hope in him.
Lay your hope—your entire life!—at his feet. He can handle it.
Written by Brandon D. Smith