Thursday, November 12, 2015

True Joy and Satisfaction

This week I had an aha moment. As I was preparing for my women's Bible Study, one of the questions struck me deeply. It asked what we seek to live by - the things that proceed from this world or every word that comes from the mouth of God. As I pondered this question, the light came on and I began to understand the struggles of my heart over the past few weeks. Since returning from a funeral several weeks ago, I have been quick to anger, easily irritated, and critical of my boys and my husband.

During my study of God's word this week, the Lord opened my eyes to see again that true joy and satisfaction can only be found in him. The things of this world will never satisfy. When I seek to find my satisfaction and my joy in the things of this world, like food, obedient children, everything in order with everything in its place and everyone doing what they should be doing when they should be doing it, I find that these things never satisfy. Not only do they not bring joy and satisfaction, but they put me in bondage and keep me from finding satisfaction in the only One who gives true joy. For I will only find true joy and satisfaction in Jesus!

In Hebrews 3 and 4, we are exhorted to not harden our hearts in unbelief as the Israelites did when they wandered in the wilderness. Unlike them, let us believe by faith, that we might enter into the eternal rest of Jesus. Let us trust in Jesus as our Savior and king and hold fast to our confidence firm to the end. "For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end." The Israelites sought to find their rest, not in God, but in the things that God gave them - in water, in food, in peace from their enemies. And they never ultimately found rest, for they never realized that their rest was found in God and not in the things of this world. Now we are called to not harden our hearts as the Israelites did, but to look to Jesus for our rest.

Only Jesus satisfies, and only Jesus brings ultimate joy and rest for all of eternity. When we seek to find our rest and joy and satisfaction in the things of this world, we will always find that they will never truly satisfy. When I seek to find rest in a clean house, obedient children, and in keeping up with a packed schedule with everyone where they need to be at the right time, I will find that this does not satisfy or bring me true joy. My children are not perfect, and they will disobey, grumble, and fight among themselves. Traffic will happen. There will be moments when I have to choose between staying on schedule and stopping to wipe tears, comfort a heart that has been crushed, or listen to a story that matters a lot to the sweet boy who is telling it. Then, if I am seeking satisfaction in these things, I will become overwhelmed as I try to catch back up to my grueling schedule, or I will respond with irritability and anger as my day hopelessly continues to run 10 minutes behind throughout the course of the day with no way to catch up. I will respond with anger to interruptions that slow down my ability to catch up or quarreling boys that require my time to sort things out and help their little hearts. At this point, my search for satisfaction has put me in bondage to time and order. And even if everything does go perfectly one day, with children obeying and playing well together, a clean house that remains clean all day, and a perfectly kept schedule, I will ultimately find that this doesn't satisfy. It just leaves me wanting more. Instead may I look to Jesus for rest, for joy, and for satisfaction. For when I (when we) look to him, we will find that he gives us eternal rest. He gives us joy and satisfaction for all of eternity. When we trust in Him, we will never hunger or thirst. He will satisfy us fully. So may we find our joy and satisfaction in Jesus today!

"I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst." John 6:35

"Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:25-26

Photo Credit: Misha Seger Photography

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