Mother Teresa once observed that in India people are starving physically, but in America people are starving spiritually and emotionally.
God wired each of us with a spiritual hunger that can only be satisfied by him. We use phrases like “There’s got to be more to life than this.” or “I’m bored . . . restless . . . empty . . . unfulfilled.” Or even “I feel like something is missing in my life.” Even when things are going well, there’s always that little gnawing feeling on the inside. It is our hunger for God. We’re made by God and for God, and until we understand that, life will never make sense. We make the mistake of looking for satisfaction in all the wrong places.
That’s what this book is about. It uncoveres the idols we create in our own hearts when we fail to look to God to meet our deepest needs. These idols of pleasure, prestige, passion, position, popularity, performance, and possessions inevitably betray us and let us down. They are, as my dear friend Pete Wilson says, “Empty Promises.”
Too often we allow ourselves to be conned by “when and then” thinking. When I get married . . . when I make a lot of money . . . when I achieve a certain goal or status . . . THEN I’ll be happy. But, as Solomon said, “No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.” (Ecclesiastes 1:8 NLT)
Advertising today is filled with empty promises that offer to fulfill our spiritual hunger. Products from coffee to cigarettes promise “satisfaction guaranteed” and “The taste that satisfies!” If that were true you’d only need one cup of coffee and never need another cigarette!
Without Christ, we tend to approach life like we do a late night refrigerator raid: We’re restless and can’t sleep so we get up and go to the refrigerator. We don’t know what we want—we just know we are hungry. We open the door and stare, scanning the contents, hoping something will look good and catch our attention. Next, we start “grazing”—nibbling a little on this, then nibbling a little on that. But nothing tastes good. Nothing satisfies. We close the refrigerator door, and go back to bed still hungry. That scene describes the lives of most people.
Today there are more than twice as many products and services available as there were ten years ago, and most of them promise what they cannot deliver. But are people twice as happy as they were ten years ago? Of course not. One man admitted to me, “Even when I get what I want, it’s not what I want! I’m still dissatisfied.”
This book points you to the answer in your search for satisfaction and significance. It will change your life if you’ll listen, learn, and apply the powerful truths it contains. Pete Wilson will help you recognize your real hunger and the only source for real satisfaction.
Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your hearts desires.” Don’t seek happiness, seek God! The promise of happiness isn’t contained in a product. That promise is found in a person—Jesus Christ. “For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding ‘Yes!’” (2 Cor. 1:20) I invite you to begin the journey!
Rick Warren: Pastor, Saddleback Church
PLEASE NOTE: This is a foreword for the book Empty Promises written by Pete Wilson. I'm thoroughly blessed just reading this. i think the book must be a must-read too :) though i haven't read one yet... :(