“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17
I think to some degree all of us think about happiness as a “when” statement. Sounds a little weird, but bear with me here. Have you ever thought “I’ll be happy when I have a boyfriend,” or “Life will be perfect when I get into the right college,” or maybe “I won’t struggle with insecurity any more when I lose weight.” I certainly have. We tend to be grass-is-greener type of people, looking to the future or to what others have and thinking, “Man, if I only had that, life would be good.” It’s so easy to feel discontented in our lives, and to start looking for that happiness in everything we wish we had.
But you know what the problem is? This becomes a continual cycle – once we get what we want we realize we’re still not satisfied, so it starts over again. But all the while we’re frantically searching for the next big thing, our Savior is quietly wooing us back, trying to teach us that He is the only one who can satisfy his creation.
Augustine famously talked about the God-shaped hole in human hearts. We fruitlessly try to make other things fit, but nothing fills all of the gaps except the Lord who designed the hole. As Augustine said, “Thou has made us for thyself O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”
Philippians 4 tells us that God will meet all our needs, but do we really act like we believe that? I know so many times I think I know my needs best, so I walk away from God, only to return when nothing else compares.
If we really believe that our God is good, wouldn’t it make sense that He delights to give his beloved children good things?
We also see in James that everything good comes directly from God, and most encouragingly, that He doesn’t change. Anything else we put our satisfaction in, be it a relationship, or grades, or achievement, or appearance, or money, has no lasting guarantee. It can be ripped away from us in a blink, leaving us distraught and desperate for the hope we thought we had found.
But satisfaction in Jesus is complete and secure. We can root ourselves completely in Him without fear, because He is always good, always loving, always trustworthy, always gracious and forgiving. He is the ultimate source of the abundant life we were made to crave; we were never meant to be contented in anything else but Jesus. Everything else comes and goes, but He remains steadfast.
Do you know that even if everything else was taken from you, even if you never got that relationship or grade or award you want so badly, you would still be completely whole simply living as God’s daughter? He makes you whole. What kind of “when” statement are you holding onto right now? Can you turn that over to Jesus and ask Him to help you find your contentment in Him?