Updated: Sep 12
When my kids are in the midst of a growth spurt, they out-eat me at mealtimes and constantly hunt for food; their appetite is voracious.
Other times they're more picky and don't feel like eating what's provided, nibbling here and there.
Whatever their appetite, though, their bodies still require nourishment.
In the same way, our spiritual lives need sustenance. We feed on the Word of God moving from milk to solid food as we grow in maturity. If we're honest, sometimes we can be like my picky eaters with a diminished appetite, pushing our meals away, only taking small, careless bites.
Our spiritual hunger, however, can grow. Just like the picky-eater suddenly feels "so hungry" when presented with a sweet treat, our longing for God's Word intensifies as we find satisfaction in it's sweetness. We can find help for our hungry souls.
So, here's the question:
"How would you describe your current appetite for God's Word?"
Let's take a look at Kristen Wetherell's upcoming release, Help for the Hungry Soul: Eight Encouragements to Grow Your Appetite for God's Word to help you answer the question and some encouragement along the way.
Help for the Hungry Soul | Book Review
Purpose of the Book
“You were made to desire and hunger for your Creator.” The author writes this book with a gentle, inviting voice to address our spiritual appetite and point us to the best nourishment, found in the Bread of Life.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION A Hunger to Hear from God
CHAPTER 1 Know Your Hungry Heart
CHAPTER 2 Plead for a Holy Hunger
CHAPTER 3 Don’t Miss Jesus
CHAPTER 4 Remember the Privilege
CHAPTER 5 Feast with Your Church
CHAPTER 6 Feed Yourself Creatively
CHAPTER 7 Trust God’s Nourishing Work
CHAPTER 8 Embrace Your Hunger
APPENDIX 1 How to Get Started Reading Your Bible
APPENDIX 2 Reading Lists
In these 8 short chapters, she walks us through discerning our affection for God’s Word, the reasons we need it and the promises given us in it. This is not a how-to book - although she provides a few steps in the Appendix, along with a good reading list- but a why book. Why we hunger, why we shame ourselves and why Bible reading is so important. The chapters end with a testimony of someone’s story and reflection questions to dig a little deeper.
Waiting on God
There have been seasons in my life where I pick up my Bible, look at it earnestly, and wonder with desperation if this sacred book is making any difference in my life.
It’s the times when sin has held a grip, or popped up again, patience lacks, weariness sets in and I’ve felt wrapped in discouragement. I know I don’t measure up, but I also know His Word is life. What I’m looking for is a measure, something concrete to show me the centimeters of growth (or withering) and it’s hard to discern sometimes.
In life group last week we talked about this, about the humbling beauty of sanctification in the perpetual cycle of confession and repentance in our relationship with God and others. There’s no task more uncomfortable than confession, more daunting than repentance, yet the astounding glory of God’s grace and mercy as we do pours hope in our spirit and life in restoration.
The author reminds us in chapter seven that more is happening than we can ever see. John Piper echoes this by saying, “God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them.” Though we can’t always see what God is doing, we know He is at work. This is a truth we need to trust. Even though we’re rightly grieved by our sin, God proves ever faithful.
A Prayer to Pray
God stirs our spirit to give us a hunger for Him. A lot of the time I think we just have to muster it up all on our own by doing all the “right” things, but we remember it’s a gift given from God. So, what happens if He doesn’t give it? We ask for it and position ourselves to receive it.
At the end of chapter two, she shares a few scripture prayers to equip us in praying for a holy hunger and this one from Psalm 119 stuck with me:
"O Lord, I am like a lost sheep, often going astray from you. Seek me, Lord! Call me back to your side (119:176). I do not want to forget your commandments, and I need you to incline my heart to them (119:36). It is easy for me to look at worthless things that cannot compare to you, and even prefer them. Turn my eyes, that I may look at you in your word and find life (119:37). Change my affections, that my deepest treasuring would be in you each day (119:72). Oh, that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes (119:5). Unless you deal well with me, Lord, I cannot keep your word, nor can I love you (119:17). Please help me choose the way of faithfulness, even when it’s hard (119:30). I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart (119:32). You have to do it, Lord! Be gracious to me according to your promise (119:58), and I know that all of your promises are Yes and Amen in your Son. In his name, amen."
If you’re struggling to read your Bible, this resource is written with you in mind. There are no judgements or shaming, it’s an honest look at a discipline we want to do more of and better. Reading this book is like having a coffee with a friend.
For those who already have a regular habit established, let’s be honest, sometimes it’s hard to relate with those who do. In my time with the author, I grew more compassionate and less judgemental, realizing we all hunger after our Saviour.
# of Pages: 176
Level of Difficulty: Easy
My Rating: 5 stars
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Scriptures About Hunger for God
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (Mt 5:6)
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. (Jn 6:35)
And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. (Deut 8:3)
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. (Rev 7:16-17)
The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. (Ps 34:10)
For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. (Ps 107:9)
*A big thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC and for the opportunity to post an honest review.