One of the maxims in life that you soon come to terms with, but are always anxious about is, ‘change is here to stay’. Seasons come and go and life itself is flooded with change, and out of that change come great memories.
Even for the house that has a garden with huge, heavy railroad sleepers as decking, there comes change and what looked like it was in place until the end of time, changes. Our hearts have a similar dilemma. As Christians we want to know Christ, know Him Crucified, resurrected and glorified. But we also want, need, crave the things of this world.
Bearing in mind that nothing on this planet is eternal – not a single molecule of this earth will follow us beyond the grave into the vast glory of Heaven and the new earth, how do we come to a place of rest where our great satisfaction is found only in Christ?
The answer is a hugely liberating one. God wants us to enjoy the ‘stuff’ of life, to share, enjoy, use and celebrate not just the fruit of our labours, but to celebrate our creativity, music and art – but all in a way that is wholesome. All of the resources that we have in life are meant to be used righteously. Everything bad that we can think of, is satan’s response to the gifting that a Holy God has breathed into the heart of mankind.
Our great satisfaction in Christ starts with the realisation that He absolutely exists, in and of His own self. The book of Hebrews tells us something staggering; God is. And He is also a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Everything in life that is not God begins with God. There is nothing before God. And therefore nothing above God. God gives an account to nothing. He is measured by nothing. Nothing sustains, or improves him, or in any way contributes to his value. He is absolute being, and absolute value. All other being depends on his. And all that has any value has it because of him. But, amazingly God initiates something that answers the profound need for satisfaction in the human heart – He rewards those who seek Him.
Amazingly for us as Christians, not only has God forgiven us our sins, which makes it possible for us to approach God, but He fully reconciles us. We are not standing at a distance, forgiven, but the recipient of a divine frown. On the contrary, the book of Hebrews continues to encourage us that God has taken vast measures to ward off alienation and fully embrace us. Hebrews 1:3, “purification for sins.” Hebrews 2:17, “propitiation of sins.”Hebrews 5:1, “sacrifices for sins.” Hebrews 9:22, “forgiveness of sins.” Hebrews 9:28, “bearing the sins of many.” Hebrews 10:4, “take away sins.” Hebrews 10:19, “offering for sin.” This is God moving in history to make peace with his enemies by the sacrifice of his Son – and that provokes deep satisfaction within our hearts.
Romans 5:10: “If while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”
All these things are wonderful, but are the promises of God sustained for us – will the promise of reward, forgiveness, reconciliation stand, especially at the time we most need it (which is always now)?
What if God made covenant to do all these things and more? That surely would bring deep satisfaction to the human heart that trusts in Christ? God is a covenant-keeping, promise-keeping God. And the seal over every promise is the blood of the eternal covenant raising Jesus from the dead to guarantee every blessing in the heavenly places. God is faithful and true to Himself, and that faithfulness is nothing short of breathtaking in its promise for us.
In all these things we are not left to our own devices, that having been forgiven and reconciled to God, we must now find our own way to heaven. God “equips you with everything good that you may do his will.” God does not expect us to make bricks without straw. We are not required to do what there is no provision to do. He gives us what we need to do his will. But that’s not all. He does more. He moves in: “working in us that which is pleasing in his sight.” 1 Corinthians 15:10, God is endlessly at work in you.
Our great satisfaction comes in knowing that our sins are forgiven, we are reconciled to God and that He is for us and not against us. Everything we need for our short stay on earth is met by the hand of the God who graciously provides for us. In the words of Piper, God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him. Our satisfaction is found in knowing that the grace of God knows no boundaries. Our satisfaction in Christ is expressed in our worship, our living, caring, sharing, happiness, tears and heartache – living our lives for Christ, in Christ and by the help of Christ.
Nothing could be more noble – and give greater satisfaction.