Hope for Hungry Hearts
By Julie Morris –
I bought every diet book I could find, desperately searching for something that would give me hope as I struggled to lose weight. Little did I know that the book I needed most was sitting right on my bedside table.Over 25 years ago, I began reading my Bible in a completely new way—as a weight-loss instruction book. Finally, I found what I was hungering for and I lost my extra pounds and have kept them off! Here are my thoughts on a few of the verses that have helped me:
1 Corinthians 10:13 “…God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
Years ago, when I read God’s promise in this verse, I believed that heaven was the only way out of my temptation to overeat. I believed that lie because I prayed so hard that God would help me to lose weight, but my diets always failed. However, I discovered that God does provide a way out of temptation when he provided me with a group of wonderful Christians to meet with every week. We studied God’s Word, prayed together and encouraged one another in our weight-loss battle. And—together—we were able to do what we couldn’t do alone: We found our way out of the temptation to overeat.
Deuteronomy 8:3 “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”
My problem with overeating made me miserable! I felt humiliated because of my inability to control my weight. But as I read this verse, I realized that the humiliation I felt wasn’t what God wanted for me. He wanted me to be humble. Humility and humiliation aren’t the same thing! When I am humiliated, I am looking at myself apart from God. But when I am humble, I am looking at myself embraced by God. I decided to put this verse into action so I stopped complaining about my hunger, and started praising God for using it to teach me to rely on him and feast on his Word.
Philippians 3:19 “Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.”
I was spiraling toward destruction. Just like this verse describes, my god was my stomach. It was what I loved most, focused my thoughts on, obeyed and spent my days trying to satisfy. And my “glory”—the thing that set me apart from others and stood out most in my life—was my shame. “I’m a failure” became my mantra and “I can’t help it” kept the vicious cycle spinning. My mind was on two earthly things: How fat I was and what food I could shove in my mouth next.
Lord, I praise you for your faithfulness. You provide for us a way out of the temptation to overeat. Help us to find it!
You use our problem with overeating to help us to rely on you and feast on your Word. Help us to stop complaining about our hunger, and start rejoicing that you have a plan to use it for our good and your glory.
And because of your power at work in us, our destiny isn’t destruction! Help us to keep our minds on you and not earthly things. Help us to eat to live and not live to eat.
Julie Morris (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the author of 12 books, a dynamic motivational speaker and founder of two Christian weight-loss programs: Step Forward (www.stepforwarddiet.com) and a lighter and easier version of Step Forward, Guided By Him (www.guidedbyhim.com).