Every person in the world wants to know what will make him or her happy. We’re all desperately seeking for the person, place, or thing that will meet our expectations, needs, and wants. What will truly satisfy the desires of our heart?
As children, we thought it might be that bag of potato chips we begged our parents for at the store or that new bike, video game, or doll we wanted for Christmas. We thought they would make us happy. But they didn’t. As teenagers, we sought satisfaction in good grades, athletic accomplishments, a car, or in a significant other. But all of it left us discontent. As adults, we think that a bigger house, more (or less) children, or a better job will quench our thirst. But we’re still left wanting more.
These lyrics from S.O.’s new single resonate with all of us:
How it feel like, chasing the wind hommie? Don’t we do it all the time? We never chase God but think that the women or the money will forever satisfy. That ain’t what we were designed for & I can tell you that with my eyes closed or blindfolded. It’s mind-blowing, our souls need God cuzzy that there I know, [brotha] yes I know
We were designed for more than the trivial pursuit of pleasure. The hard truth is that we will never find relief if we continue to seek it through possessions or through people. Seeking satisfaction in the things of this world is like chasing the wind. Once you’re finally exhausted and weary from your pursuit, you’re left empty-handed and disappointed. You’ve wasted valuable time chasing nothing when you could have been pursuing true joy and peace.
The problem is our hearts are black holes of discontentment, devouring relationships and possessions, all while screaming, “I need more.” We’re always eating, but famished. Always drinking, but never satisfied.
The Never-Ending Thirst
Dissatisfaction in life is near the root of all kinds of sin. Why do people cheat on their spouse, abuse drugs and alcohol, mindlessly binge-watch ridiculous amounts of television, scroll endlessly on Facebook and Twitter, steal, or commit suicide? All of these things and more happen because people haven’t found happiness.
At the root of our dissatisfaction is a never-ending thirst that nothing in this world can satisfy. We’ve been duped into thinking that a better job, more money, cooler friends, another spouse, or a new life is really what we need. And if we can’t obtain any of these things, or when they leave us dissatisfied, we resort to drug abuse, sexual immorality, or senseless entertainment.
“For a long time I was looking for something, for a relationship to fill something that only Christ could,” S.O. confessed in a recent interview. “I thought if I got into this relationship I [would] be happier, you know? Or if I was with this girl everything would be all right, you know? But that wasn’t the case. A relationship couldn’t satisfy me, though. Only Christ can satisfy me.”
He realized that there is someone greater than people or possessions that can truly satisfy. God offers us himself in the person of Christ. Jesus exceeds our expectations, provides for our needs, and fulfills our desires. Christ alone can provide the satisfaction and joy we so desperately seek.
Promises of Satisfaction
The Bible is full of glorious promises of satisfaction for the discontent:
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.” (John 6:35)
For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. (Psalm 107:9)
The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord! May your hearts live forever! (Psalm 22:26)
In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)
Herman Bavink once wrote, “God, and God alone, is man’s highest good.” God is the source and sustainer of all good. He and he alone, as Bavinck notes, is “the abundant fountain of all goods.”
Nothing in this universe is able to produce true goodness, unless the Good Creator is its wellspring. This truth puts all of life in perspective for mankind. To state it plainly, if goodness is what we desire, we must go to the source of all goodness: God.
Our Good and His Glory
Seeking satisfaction in Christ alone serves two purposes: It is for our good and for the glory of God. “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” As we drink daily from the cup of Jesus, it becomes evident to those we interact with that Jesus is enough and our hearts will “flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38).
We reap the benefits of knowing, loving, and delighting in Jesus. The Father gives us peace that surpasses understanding and provides for all our needs according to his riches. No good thing is withheld from us and all things work together for our good. Living in light of these truths proclaims to a discontent world that Jesus is better than anything the world has to offer. As we look to Jesus to make us truly happy, we also proclaim to a world in need that only Christ can truly satisfy.
“When we are most satisfied in him, he loves that,” S.O. said with a smile. “We are glorifying God when our satisfaction is Jesus alone. We never heard [this] concept before, because to us it was we have to read our Bible to glorify God [or] we have to pray to make him happy. No. When we are satisfied in him all those things will happen and he is happy with us. He is most glorified when we are [happy in him], which is crazy.”