Are you Satisfied?
One of the greatest struggles in life seems to be the struggle for significance. Wars are waged. People lie and cheat to amass wealth. Books are written only to then be critiqued or rejected. Novel Ideas are proposed and later refuted. Lives are wasted in pursuit of celebrity status. For what? All in an effort for individuals to make their mark on history. But why? Why do we crave this significance so strongly that we are oftentimes willing to sacrifice our lives and the lives of others to attain it? Could it be that it is not really about significance but rather about satisfaction? That our primary concern is not how significant or important we become? What if these are just futile attempts at achieving something else altogether? Could it be that the end in of itself is that we are seeking to be satisfied? Nothing seems to satisfy us in this life, so we press further. We struggle for significance thinking that fame, power, or fortune will bring us that satisfaction. If it fails or if we fail to attain it, we turn to pleasure and attempt to find it in sex, drugs, or material possessions.
It always circles back to the unending pursuit of satisfaction. This is not a new suggestion. Hear the inspired word of James, “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.” All our struggles for significance are rooted in our pursuit and lust for satisfaction. The great philosopher and writer C.S. Lewis brings incredible insight to this lust, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
So that’s it? We yearn for a satisfaction that cannot be appeased by anything in this world. Only God can satisfy. Yet, we refuse to pursue the true satisfaction found in God alone. The result is that we seek satisfaction in anything and everything else. But to no avail. We cannot find this satisfaction apart from God because this sought-after satisfaction is God. That’s right, the very satisfaction that we seek is only found in the Triune God of Christianity.
Perhaps the greatest philosopher of the early church was a man named Augustine. He caught on to this idea in his Confessions and expressed it this way, “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in You.” We were made for God. Think about that for a moment. We were made for God. It was not a deficiency in God that spurred Him into creating the universe or mankind: it was love.
As Christians, we claim that our God is a God of love. As the Apostle John writes, “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” We also claim that our God is immutable or unchanging. (We have verses such as Malachi 3:6 and Hebrews 13:8 that would confirm this doctrine of immutability.) Maybe you see what I am driving at. If God does not change AND God is Love, then God has always been a God of love. However, love requires an object of affection. I did not get married because I love in some abstract sense. No, I got married because I love my wife. So, for God to be an eternal, unchanging God of love, and for there to not be any deficiency within Him, He must have eternally had an object of affection to direct His love. Because if we say that He is eternally a God of love but is without anything with which to direct that love, He has a deficiency outside of Himself because He has no object upon which He might place that love.
Herein lies the necessity of a Triune God. God is One Being or Existence with three Subsistences. Another way of saying this is that God is Three Persons with a single Nature. This means that God, from all eternity, has always had an object upon which to lavish His Love, namely the other Persons of the Trinity. The Father eternally loves the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Son eternally loves the Father and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit eternally loves the Father and the Son. God is One. A Single Being that simultaneously exists as a community of love and fellowship.
Our quest for satisfaction may be a problem or dilemma but it is not one without a solution. The community of love contained within the Godhead is a community that we have been graciously invited into. Listen to the words found in Christ Jesus’s High Priestly prayer. Don’t just skim past it. Take time to let the words of Jesus resonate in your heart and mind. Let them soak deep into your affections.
“The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”
Do you see the solution to our dilemma? We seek an other-worldly satisfaction. One that the world cannot and will not give. The satisfaction that we seek is to be in relationship with God. To be brought into this covenant of love. We desire to love and be loved by the Triune God.
Let’s look at another proof that our satisfaction may be found in Christ alone. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” Notice that Christ first offers them peace. Behind the word peace there resides a connotation of fulfillment, wholeness, completion, and rest. Christ says that He is both leaving His peace with them and giving His peace to them. The strength and security that they have felt over the last three and a half years is approaching a foreseen conclusion and they are sorrowful and fearful. Yet, He invites them to abide in that same peace that they have known while they walked with Him over the course of His earthly ministry. He leaves His peace with them.
Next, He goes a step further and gives His peace to them. Based on the context of the conversation, namely verse 26’s mention of The Comforter, I believe Christ is referencing the giving of His inner peace. He is leaving them with the outer peace that they have been exposed to for the past few years and He is giving them an inner peace that they have been altogether ignorant of. He is talking about giving them “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding”. This peace is to be found in the Holy Spirit’s indwelling of the believer. Christ is inviting them to receive an external peace that they’ve known and an internal peace that goes beyond knowledge.
Christ then assures them that the peace that He is leaving and the peace that He is giving is not the peace found anywhere in the world. Sound familiar? Our hearts are yearning for satisfaction and completion. A complete satisfaction cannot be found in the world. Therefore, Jesus emphasizes that His peace is not that of the world. The satisfaction and complete wholeness that Christ is offering goes beyond that of the world. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”