As I read through scripture the word satisfied comes up now and again. It is most striking when Jesus feeds the multitudes. The bread and fish are broken, and the food is distributed. People eat until they are satisfied. Many of the people who flocked after Jesus were poor, dirt poor. That simple meal of bread and fish that they ate until they were satisfied...it might be one of the only times they had enough to eat such that they were satisfied. How many of us have sat down at the table, eaten our meal and left full, but not satisfied? It is like something is missing. As we grow, the picture of what will satisfy us changes. As kids perhaps our satisfaction came in the form of sports performance, a new bike, a favorite food treat or vacation to a certain place. As we get older our criteria for being satisfied changes. When we get out of school it is a big job, a new house and or vehicle that might satisfy. Perhaps it is a significant other. As we grow older still, we might be satisfied with decent health, phone calls from family and friends or time enjoying a hobby.
But for many of us, even after we have all those things we still are not satisfied. It is like there is something missing. Sometimes it feels as though we are chasing the wind. Sometimes it feels like what will satisfy us is just beyond our reach. Somehow, we always need more. We eat and are stuffed but not satisfied. We acquire more things but there is never enough. And this dissatisfaction leads us near the root of many different sins. People cheat on their spouses, abuse drugs and alcohol, eat too much, binge watch television and scroll endlessly on social media because they are not satisfied. They have not found true happiness or joy. But true happiness and joy do not come from the things of the world. They come only from Jesus Christ. God offers us Himself in the person of Jesus. Only He is able to exceed our expectations, provide for our need and fulfill our desires. It is Christ alone who can provide the satisfaction and joy we so desperately seek. And once we lean into Him, it won't seem like something is missing anymore.
There are many promises of satisfaction in scripture. In John 6:35 Jesus tells us “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirsty. This does not mean an endless supply of food. It means our souls and our hearts will be filled to overflowing with the goodness He has for us. We will be filled with grace and mercy, comfort and strength, joy and peace. Things that we will not and cannot receive from the world.
The psalmist has much to say about satisfaction. Here is a sampling. ”For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things.” Psalm 107:9. Or this, ”The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek Him shall praise the Lord! May your hearts live forever.” Psalm 22:26. And this, ”In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11. There is nothing in this world that can produce true goodness, unless God is its source. When we seek our satisfaction in Christ it is for our good and for His glory. Because, God is glorified when we are most satisfied in Him. Jesus came to give us an abundant life in Him. John 10:10. That doesn't mean we will have all the worldly goods we desire. It means He will lavish His love on us. We will know the peace that passes all human understanding. Jesus is so much better and so much more than anything the world has to offer. And it seems like satisfaction is a rare commodity these days.
In scripture we see that there is a time when even God is satisfied. All the way back in Genesis 1 we see God create. And when He is done with a day, He looks and sees that it is good. God is satisfied. At the end of day six, the day humans were created, God does not say everything is good. He says it is very good. God is very satisfied with the humans He has made. When we are satisfied, we are not looking for anything else. Think about it. After the Thanksgiving meal, after all the food, how many of us leave the table and look for something else to eat? Not many because we are full, satisfied.
We are most satisfied when we know God's provision and work in our lives. Our satisfaction comes when we discover our true purpose for being here. Paul summed it up In Galatians 2:20. ”I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” Part of our purpose is to reflect the glory of God in the ways and places He has called us to shine His light. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Many of us will eat until we are satisfied, perhaps even stuffed. But we will be hungry again. In Jesus we are given abundance and a purpose. Nothing would seem like it is missing. That will satisfy us forever.
In His grip
Pastor Matt W