Finding Our Greatest
Satisfaction In God
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
God cares intensely about the poor. Thus, we acknowledge the biblical importance of being compassionate and generous towards the needy throughout this site. As Scripture teaches and Christ modeled, we are deeply committed to looking out for the welfare of the poor, the vulnerable, the weak, the afflicted, the exploited, and the marginalized. But at Heart In Heaven, we affirm our ardent desire to alleviate spiritual and material poverty originates from an even higher goal.
"Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever." Psalm 73:25-26
Over and above the desire to alleviate poverty is our passion for knowing God and esteeming God as our most excellent and supreme treasure. Scripturally, this pursuit is our highest aim; we want to treasure God for who He is. Even though we are all at different points in our spiritual journey, we acknowledge it's a lifelong process and our principal goal. And out of this goal to treasure God flows the intrinsic desire to honor and glorify Him by aligning our lives with His revealed will.
But let's momentarily set aside lofty biblical principles and be intensely practical about a simple truth. Although it may sound trite, it's true: You want to be happy. We all want to be happy or content.
To desire happiness is not a shallow or mistaken goal. Instead, it's a worthwhile endeavor that accords with biblical truth. A satisfied soul is essential to how God created us to live and thrive. Inherent in God's design for our lives is our contentment. Regretfully, the world and Satan have made a counterfeit of what constitutes true happiness. As a result, many sincere Christians may think it's a misdirected goal to desire their satisfaction. Well, that's not true. God does want us to be happy.
Although not necessarily wrong or bad for us, we are not talking about happiness derived from mere temporal activities or aspirations. Of course, countless things in this world are lovely for us to enjoy and pursue—and with the blessing of God. After all, they are from Him. God desires us to find satisfaction in various outlets. Hiking and enjoying the beauty of His creation, learning how to play a musical instrument, and the joy of knitting a sweater for a special someone are a few examples. Some pursuits, like the ones above, are excellent and beneficial for us. In contrast, others are unhealthy and detrimental to our well-being.
Moreover, we are not referring to happiness merely for happiness or as an end in and of itself—that would be superficial at best and idolatrous at worse.
Naturally, the above goals in pursuing happiness can manifest in many different choices or ways. Because the result of both objectives is "satisfaction" that is only temporary and fleeting, we may view them as mistaken goals if we desire genuine and enduring happiness. We may place these transitory quests for happiness into three general categories.
First, it may be the pursuit of happiness for purely selfish reasons, the kind that ignores or is oblivious—intentionally or inadvertently—to the needs of others.
Second, it could be the reckless pursuit of pleasure that carelessly casts aside the harmful ramifications that generally result from such enjoyment. The type of short-term pleasure-seeking with inevitable long-term negative consequences that thinks, like the presumptuous and shortsighted rich fool, "Relax, eat, drink, be merry" (Luke 12:19).
Third, it could simply be the pursuit of a seemingly innocuous or neutral pleasure that may or may not trap and hold us in its grip later.
These three types of enjoyment will never constitute true, sustained happiness. No, the sublime contentment we are referring to is happiness in God. Delight in God Himself and not just His gifts. Contentment in the awe and wonder that we are known and loved by the all-powerful Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe. Joy in the inflamed desire to gratefully return His magnanimous, redemptive love as best—yet often feebly—as we humanly can.
As His image bearers, God decisively wants us to be happy—so says Scripture! Consider the following: Happy are the people whose God is the Lord (Psalm 144:15); The joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10); Rejoice evermore (1 Thessalonians 5:16); Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days (Psalm 90:14); and, A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones (Proverbs 17:22). These are but five examples from God's Word that urge us to be happy. The goal and bedrock of this happiness is, of course, rooted in another Scripture: "Delight yourself in the Lord" (Psalm 37:4).
Although it may surprise us, being happy in God is our ultimate goal! It's not just being happy in God but finding our greatest happiness in God. We aspire to that settled state of contentedness rooted and grounded in the truth that God Himself is our most excellent satisfaction—our most prized treasure.
This satisfaction is our highest aim. Since seeking God's glory and our gladness are intertwined, it is also the foundation of our most authentic joy and contentment. When God is our supreme treasure, and we grasp the staggering preciousness of all we have, we don't need anything else to fill up any perceived lack. Besides, we apprehend that God will never allow earthly things to satisfy us fully.
Therefore, we learn to concede the futility of spending time and effort on what we know is worthless or doesn't ultimately matter. Put another way, we look away from the allurements of this world that claim to satisfy our souls. We refuse to be enamored by the glittery but empty trinkets it holds out to us—things that ultimately leave us more devoid, restless, and discontent. And we do not seek satisfaction in the fake happiness and false gods of fame, pleasure, luxury, worldly success, consumerism, and self-absorption.
This growth is all a process. The more we look to God, the more we discover that only He satisfies our hearts' deep yearnings and desires. This deepening awareness creates a reciprocal dynamic: As we experience this reality, we progressively believe God alone is the source and ever-flowing fountain of true peace and happiness; our hearts affirm that we are created and designed to find all we could ever need or desire in His all-encompassing fullness. Indeed, we treasure God—in Whom there is no lack—because He is the one consummate end and the fulfillment of all our longings and desires for time and eternity.
The greatest treasure is a gift we humbly and freely receive!
The awe that this inexpressibly wondrous God has invited us into a relationship of knowing Him personally and being loved by Him captivates us. With grateful hearts, we joyfully exclaim, "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" (1 John 3:1). We owe all this redemption to Christ's finished, triumphant work on the cross. That glorious reality of communion with God and the innumerable blessings that flow from it—both temporal and eternal—is the source of our most profound joy and satisfaction.
But you may ask, how does contentment in God practically relate to generosity? In transformative ways! An abiding satisfaction in God turns our eyes away from the lure and pleasures of this world that vie for the financial resources God has entrusted to us (James 4:4). It enables us to willingly embrace a life of simplicity and esteem a life of self-abandonment for the sake of those in need (Matthew 10:8; Luke 12:31). Because we do not set our affections on the fleeting things of this world, we also do not pursue a life of ease, comfort, or security, all of which revolve around the retention, acquisition, or accumulation of money (Colossians 3:1-2; 1 Timothy 6:6-11). In other words, we become faithful stewards who are freed from the bondage of money and stuff. Consequently, we can channel God's financial resources to help the needy and accomplish much good in the world, to the glory of God.
In essence, when we treasure God above all else, money becomes mainly a tool for maximizing our joy in Christ. This joy is threefold—for us (since it is more blessed to give than to receive, Acts 20:35), for others, and as we give to spread the gospel. Thus, contentment in God liberates us to live generously, give sacrificially, and love obediently. It even motivates us to take necessary risks in deeds of service to others (Luke 12:4).
Well, if Scripture affirms that this sustained and fulfilling satisfaction in God is what we need to worship and honor God as our greatest treasure. That this satisfaction is what we must have to not be enticed and smitten by the trappings of this corrupt, fallen world. And that it's what we must most prize and value so that we give freely and generously—even sacrificially—for the sake of others, how, then, do we cultivate this contentment in God? And once we get it, how do we maintain it?