(…continued) In our own hearts we know what Mick Jagger and Solomon are talking about. Whether it is our job, marriage, family, house, vacation, church, retirement, or whatever—life never meets our expectations, and it never completely satisfies. Life never measures up. This makes some people go on endless search, moving here and going there, never settling and never committing, but always looking for something better and never quite finding what they are looking for. Others have a more old school approach, accepting things as they are and sticking with it; like the guy who told me “I worked at the same place for my whole life and hated every day of it; but I kept at it.” Either way, we ‘can’t get no satisfaction.’
So back to the question: Why can’t Mick Jagger or Solomon, or you or me, ever be satisfied?
One of the answers the Bible gives is in that same book of Ecclesiastes by Solomon. In the eleventh verse of the third chapter it says, “ God has set eternity in the human heart.”
‘Eternity’ is in our hearts, but in our heads we know the clock is always ticking, and the years are speeding by us. We know the truth of what my mother always used to tell us kids when it was time to come in from outside. We would always complain, and she would always say, “All good things must come to an end.”
No matter how many of our wishes and desires are fulfilled, our frustration is with the fleeting nature of whatever we receive. If it all could only last longer. Have you seen Mick Jagger or Keith Richards lately? They have had a pretty good run, but they are nearing the finish line, and they look it.
God created us for eternity; that is what is in our hearts, and no matter how much we get or do, we never get complete satisfaction, because we can’t do anything about the fact that there is never enough time.
God’s answer to this is found in Jesus Christ and his resurrection. It always, all, comes back to Jesus. Colossians 1:16-17 says: “For in Jesus all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible; all things have been created through him and for him. Jesus is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
Blaise Pascal, one of the most brilliant scientific minds in history, found out in his thirties that science by itself could not satisfy him. He found Jesus, and then he said of his previous dissatisfaction, “There is a God shaped hole in every heart.”
St. Augustine, was one of the most brilliant theological minds in the history of the church. He was first a brilliant philosopher, but Augustine found that to be unsatisfying. When he was in his thirties, he became believer in Jesus, and then he said of his previous dissatisfaction: “Our hearts are restless, until they find their rest in God.
C.S. Lewis was also an unbeliever until he came to faith in Christ when he was about thirty years old. Lewis then wrote this wonderful line: “If we find ourselves with desires that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
Or, as Solomon concluded (Ecclesiastes 3:11), “God has set eternity into our hearts.”
None of this means that unbelievers are never satisfied, and as soon as you believe in Jesus you are always satisfied. Of course not. We remain sinners, and our hearts remain restless. But we do, at least, know where that satisfaction is to be found, and we look forward to it.
There is a verse in the Bible for us when we ‘can’t get no satisfaction.’ In Luke 6:21 there are these incredible words of Jesus: “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.” Wouldn’t that be great, for once, to be satisfied? When will that happen? In verse 23 Jesus adds, “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven.” It will be in heaven, said Jesus, that we will finally be satisfied.
In the meantime, I know I still have to work at being satisfied, and maybe you do too. It is a spiritual struggle. Satisfaction does not come natural to me. I have to work at it. I have to remind myself to be grateful to God, because it is so easy to take everything for granted. I have to remind myself to count my blessings.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 — He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Luke 6:21 — (Jesus said), “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.“
Colossians 1:15-17 — The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Teach us to number our days, O Lord, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.