We don’t seek satisfaction, hoping that God will deliver it. No, we seek God, and the result is satisfaction of heart.
It is one of the big ironies of the heart. If you give your heart to seeking satisfaction, satisfaction will be the one thing you’ll never find. Your heart will never be satisfied in things. No, your heart will be satisfied only in the Giver of the things. If you seek happiness, happiness will elude you.
I have had many wives say to me in marriage counseling, “All I ever wanted was a husband who would make me happy.” Think about the dynamics that this expectation introduces into a relationship. Obviously any woman who makes this statement has some definition of what happiness looks like; she has a marital dream, and she is loading her dream on the shoulders of her husband. Who is this man? Well, he’s a flawed human being, living in a fallen world, so it is unlikely that he will ever deliver the dream for which she is looking.
Whenever you name something in creation as the thing that will satisfy you, you are asking that thing to be your personal savior. This means that, in a very practical, street-level way, you are looking horizontally for what will only ever be yours vertically. In other words, you are asking something in creation to do for you what only God can do. Now, the physical, created world was designed to be glorious, and it is. It is a sight-sound-touch-taste-feel symphony of multifaceted physical glories, but these glories cannot satisfy your heart. If you ask them to, your heart will be empty, and you will be frustrated and discouraged. No, the earthly glories that God created are to be like signposts that point us to the one glory that will ever satisfy our hearts.
So here’s the bottom line. If you seek satisfaction, satisfaction will escape your grasp. But if you seek God, rest in his presence and grace, and put your heart in his most capable hands, he will satisfy your heart as nothing else can. You were made for him. Your heart was designed to be controlled by worship of him. Your inner security is meant to come from rest in him. Your sense of well-being is intended to come from a reliance on his wisdom, power, and love.
The reality is this—God is the peace that you’re looking for. He is the satisfaction that your heart seeks. He is the rest that you crave, the joy you long for, and the comfort your heart desires. All those things that you and I say we need we don’t really need. All those things that we think will bring us contentment and joy will fail to deliver. What we need in life is him, and by grace, he is with us, in us, and for us. Our hearts can rest because, by grace, we have been given everything we could ever need, in him.
For further study and encouragement: Psalm 107
Taken from New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul Tripp, © 2014, pp. 132-162. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.