Finding Fulfillment In God
Finding Fulfillment In God
Do you often feel like you aren’t quite satisfied by the things, people, experiences or circumstances in your life? Often we desire things that we don’t end up getting, leaving us feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied. Examples of those things that often seem just out of reach are relational fulfillment in friends or in a spouse, financial provision (like finally having enough money to pay all of our bills and balance the budget),or entertainment. What if the reason we are left unsatisfied is because we were never designed to be satisfied by those things? Let’s see what Paul (the Apostle) has to say on the subject.
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11-13
Paul claims that he has figured out the secret to being content and being fulfilled. Interestingly enough, Paul penned the above paragraph while he was sitting in prison. It seems as though Paul did find the answer he claimed he did for being content in every circumstance.
Paul is saying that the perfect set of circumstances we desire will never truly leave us feeling satisfied. No matter how good our friendships are, how much money we have to budget, how deep our marriage becomes, we will never be satisfied deep down. We as people were designed to find our contentment in knowing Jesus and glorifying Him, instead of in continually chasing after the things that He has made for us to enjoy.
So, it seems that the “secret” Paul found that allows him to be content in every circumstance is that Jesus provides for Paul everything he needs to live a life pleasing to God. Paul understands that all of the other things that he would desire (that aren’t centered on God) don’t line up with the purpose for why Paul was created. If Paul goes hungry, it’s okay because Paul wasn’t created to be well fed. Paul can still live a life pleasing to God while going hungry, thereby fulfilling the purpose for his life.
So if we find ourselves in a situation where we are feeling unsatisfied by our lot in life, we need to reject the lie that our number one priority in life is to see our desires met; after that, we can set our new number one priority as living a life pleasing to God. By the time our life is over and we meet Jesus, whether we were well fed or regularly went hungry won’t matter. The thing that will matter is if we lived a life pleasing to God with the circumstances we were given, fulfilling the purpose for which we were created. See below as I work through an example of how this plays out in my own life. After you read my example, insert your own.
Unfulfilled desire: Deep friendships with other men that leave me feeling fulfilled.
The lie: I deserve to have fulfilling relationships with other men. If those men don’t meet my expectations I have put on them for being my friend, I have reason and just cause to be mad at them.
Believing the truth: Jesus has given me everything I need to live a life pleasing to him, despite how many friends I have or how good the friendships are. I was created to find relational fulfillment in Jesus even if my desires for having other friends go unmet.