The quest to find satisfaction is everywhere. It’s a natural longing we all feel and it goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. It’s been the theme of countless plays, poems, movies and songs and it seems no one has an answer.
One of the most popular songs of all time on this subject of satisfaction (or lack thereof) is titled, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. It was a worldwide hit that ranked #1 on many charts throughout the world. It ranked #1 in the US for many weeks in 1965 and ended as the #3 song of the year on Billboard magazine’s Top Hot 100 songs of that year.
The title speaks for itself. You instantly know what the song is about without ever hearing it. It’s something that obviously resonated with people all over the world and still does to this day. After all, can anyone find satisfaction? Oh, but we try, and we try!
The lyrics of the chorus emphasize this point clearly . . .
“I can’t get no, oh, no, no, no, hey, hey, hey
That’s what I say
I can’t get no satisfaction, I can’t get no satisfaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no”
We all hunger and thirst. In the physical realm, we hunger for food that provides the nutrients we need for life. We thirst for water because without it, we would die. Food and water are essential for sustaining life. And we don’t have to be told we’re hungry or thirsty. It’s something that happens to us.
It’s also one of the first thing we do as babies when we’re born – we cry, and we cry, and we cry . . . until we are fed. Then after a short time, the satisfaction wears off and we’re hungry again. Then we cry, and we cry and the cycle continues on.
This instinctual appetite carries on into other areas of the physical world. Once we learn how to walk, we’re no longer satisfied with just sitting around. And we walk, and we walk, and we walk! We get older and girls want more boys and boys want more toys but nothing satisfies. Those that drink alcohol or do drugs want more, more, more! People eat way past satisfaction and still want more, while others work, and they work but never seem to have enough money.
Even if you do have enough money, enough food and are content with your spouse, you still have an appetite for something and it wants to be satisfied – and marketers know it. What is screaming from a consumer viewpoint is that you will never be “truly satisfied” unless you “buy this phone, buy these clothes, buy this car, buy these shoes, buy that new TV, buy this new app, buy this cool upgrade” – and you buy and you buy! Then it gets real personal: “this needs to be bigger, that needs to be smaller, nip this, tuck that” . . . STOP!!
Appetite is a driving force everywhere and is our natural instinct from birth to death. The more you get, the more you want.
In this world, you truly can’t find satisfaction and that message is crystal clear.
[Cue the announcer] “Order now and we’ll upgrade you to the new and improved crystal clear message that is guaranteed to satisfy or your money back for the amazing low price of . . . ” You get the idea!
Jesus often uses the physical world and our experiences to expound spiritual truth. He uses hunger and thirst (something we all relate to) to teach us something that is so foreign to our experience that at first glance, it seems utterly impossible.
We can actually be satisfied?
It’s even better than that if you read the fine print. I’ll zoom in a little closer with “all caps” so you don’t miss it:
“WE SHALL BE SATISFIED!”
Who will be satisfied? Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness!
You may have been so focused on the “satisfaction” part, that the idea of hungering and thirsting for righteousness is your small print. It’s understandable. The idea that satisfaction is even possible is such a headline (or in more modern terms, click bait) it’s easy to put the “cart before the horse” and focus on the benefit without considering the cost.
That’s how appetite works. It wants fed now, paid later, but later never comes. Neither does satisfaction!
As I have emphasized in the previous posts on the Beatitudes in Matthew 5, the Sermon on the Mount is for those of us who have put our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and are born again. His teachings are about our character in Christ and not simply what we are doing and not doing. For the follower of Christ, knowing God is the goal. Satisfaction comes to us when our appetite is to know Him rather than us hungering and thirsting after the things of this world.
For those who do not have faith in Christ and are living according to their own ideas and beliefs, the goal would naturally be to find satisfaction in whatever this world has to offer. What else is there? This is why the world is on a perpetual cycle of trying to find satisfaction and never being satisfied. But if you come to Christ FOR satisfaction, you still won’t find it. Huh?
When we have an appetite for the things of God, when our hunger and thirst is for Him and for His righteousness, our hunger and thirst for other things now appear as they really are: distractions! Apart from Christ, everything is empty and hollow. People are left to feed on things that not only don’t satisfy, they actually create more hunger for things that will never satisfy. When you come to Christ solely for what you get out of it (or Him) you are still thinking about yourself and the benefits and blessings that come to you. This is not being poor in spirit!
You don’t seek satisfaction in Christ, you seek Christ and find satisfaction!
Think of it in terms of fast food. You can eat 800 calories in 15 minutes and be hungry an hour later. Or you can eat 400 calories of a healthy salad or some raw almonds and goji berries and be satisfied for many hours. That’s why so many people are unhealthy today. The food they are eating does not satisfy and they keep coming back for more and more. They are literally starving as they eat because what they’re eating does not contain the nutrients needed to satisfy their hunger. They are eating for entertainment instead of nutrition and the results are catastrophic to their lives.
This hunger and thirst can also be for love. It’s easy to see that people can’t find satisfaction in relationships. Few people stay married (or get married for that matter). Promiscuity is considered a normal lifestyle in our culture but it’s the result of people searching for satisfaction but never finding it. The more they sleep around, the less of a chance they’ll have finding it. They are dating for entertainment instead of finding a partner to have a family with. The results are catastrophic to not only their lives but to the lives of so many children.
To me, this is the key to this Beatitude. When we hunger and thirst for His righteousness, we find satisfaction in Him and our hunger and thirst for things that used to bring temporary satisfaction are only distractions to our pursuit to know Him more. The more we hunger and thirst, the greater our satisfaction!
But what does it mean to hunger and thirst for “His righteousness?” It means to desire Him for who He is, what He has done to make us “right” before God and what He provides to us in Himself.
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:35-40).
Jesus also had a conversation with a woman from Samaria who went to draw water from a well. He said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
Dear friend, has this world has left you hungry even though you eat? Are you thirsty even while you drink? Do you have a longing for something that you can’t find in anything this world has to offer? I know that nothing can satisfy but there is someone who can. Jesus Christ.
Will you come to Him? Will you stop pursing distractions that only leave you empty and come to the One who will bring rest for your soul?
Father, I pray for those reading this who are hungry and thirsty but can’t be filled. I pray that they would come to you and find both satisfaction in who you are and rest for their souls. I know that most have been hungry for so long they don’t even feel it anymore. So many are thirsty but are drowning in the polluted waters of this world. God I pray for each of them in this moment that they would put their faith in Jesus Christ for their salvation and satisfaction. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you have questions about what it means to have faith in Christ or would just like to connect, email me here.
Thank you for reading my Daily Bible Journal!
Reading, reflecting and writing from the Bible has so radically impacted my life in Christ, it’s as if I’ve been on auto-pilot when reading the Bible in the past. There’s something about “sitting with the text” and through prayerful reflection, sharing what comes to mind. Because I’m posting online for others to read, I consider my words carefully and try to be clear and accurate.
This daily process enhances my understanding of God’s Word and embeds it into my conscience. It literally gets “hidden in my heart!”
I hope this encourages others to be in God’s Word every day.
For God’s Glory,