May 8, 2012

Satisfaction is a gift

Every day we thank God for our meals. What we should be doing also is thanking Him for the satisfaction He gives along with the food. 
Eating by itself does not make a person feel satisfied, nor does a good meal always do it. Some eat because they are lonely; food cannot fix that. Some eat because their lives are empty and hopeless; food cannot fix that either. We also know several people suffering from eating disorders. Whatever the reasons and causes, for them food is repulsive; there is no satisfaction in eating it. 

Then there are those appetites and hungers that only God can fill, such as the desire for forgiveness, a longing to be righteous, a craving for inner peace, and a deep hunger to know the mysteries of life and to be certain of their destiny after death. That being said, God does take care of His people in the area of food.
The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked suffers want. (Proverbs 13:25)
Matthew Henry says that the happiness of the righteous means we shall have enough and also know when we have had enough. We don’t want to over-indulge because, praise God, He has given us moderation in our desires. This means that as we walk with Christ, we are soon satisfied. We are content with a little and His grace can even give contentment with less. For us, just enough can be as good as a feast. 

Our greater feast is the One who is the Bread of life, Jesus Christ. We feast on Him, His nature, His gifts to us, and on the promises of God. Because of Him, we enjoy an abundant satisfaction of soul. God fills us by taking care of every need, both inner and external. 

Those who do not know God, or who are not walking with Christ, never feel satisfied. Instead, there is a need in them that they might not be able to identify. Because this emptiness seems without a name, they seek satisfaction in the world and the flesh, but never feel full. Their sensual appetite is always craving. Henry says the worst, that in hell they shall be denied even a drop of water.

I’ve experienced both abundance and poverty. In both, God has shown me that contentment is not about what we have or do not have. Instead, it comes from knowing that He is taking care of us and being content with His provision. Both the care and the contentment are gifts of grace. 

Oh Father, truly You do “prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” and I am certain that Your “goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23:5–6). Thank You for the grace to be content with whatever You provide.

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