Only God Satisfies

Only God Satisfies

The news about a celebrity chef’s suicide recently came to me as a shock. I don’t know him personally but I used to watch most of his TV shows. I admired him for his honest commentaries about food, culture, what have you. He was unafraid to air his unfiltered thoughts.

Apparently, he was found dead in his hotel bathroom in France yesterday morning. He hung himself using the belt of his hotel bathrobe. He was 61 years old. The news has it that he was working on an upcoming episode of their TV show in France. He was a world-renowned author, chef, storyteller, and TV show host. He was famous and wealthy. He had the job many people envy. He also believed that he had the best job in the world.

He traveled lavishly around the world, met different kinds of people, and tasted many kinds of food and drinks on the planet. He lived a life that many people envy. He was able to do a lot of things in his lifetime. He lived his life to the fullest.

So what could be the reason for his suicide? Some say that he had depression. Based on people’s (those who know him personally) messages about him, he was admired, respected, and loved. His suicide happened only days after a famous fashion designer’s suicide. They both, apparently, suffered from depression. There are countless others who were successful by the world’s standard but took their own life because they were unhappy.

I don’t judge them but, this proves once again that fame and fortune cannot fill the emptiness of the human heart. It says in the Bible that we all have a God-shaped hole in our heart (Ecclesiastes 3:11). It means that only God can fill it and nothing/no one else. No person, place, food, or thing can save us from the feeling of emptiness but God alone. Only God knows how to fill that void because He created us. He knows us inside out (Jeremiah 1:5, Matthew 10:30). God created us for an eternal purpose. We are here not only to be happy but to live out our purpose.

Our heart is deceitful. It says in Jeremiah 17:9-10, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind…” We cannot trust our heart. However, we can trust the One (God in heaven) who made it. Many times our heart will trick us and lead us to things or people that we think/feel will satisfy us only to be disappointed later. Only God can fully satisfy us. He created us and He knows what can truly make us happy.

Many people have been talking about depression lately. Who isn’t familiar with it? The world offers a lot of solutions but they’re all temporary. King Solomon tried everything in his lifetime. He tried nature, music, business, humor, sex (he had 300 wives and 700 concubines!), alcohol… He denied himself nothing. He was famous and wealthy. His wealth is unmatched up to this day.

“I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind!” Ecclesiastes 1:13

“I communed with my heart, saying, ‘Look, I have attained greatness, and have gained more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has understood great wisdom and knowledge. And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind.’” Ecclesiastes 1:16-17

“I said in my heart, ‘Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure’; but surely, this also was vanity.” Ecclesiastes 2:1

“I said of laughter—’Madness!’; and of mirth, ‘What does it accomplish?’” Ecclesiastes 2:2

“I searched in my heart how to gratify my flesh with wine…” Ecclesiastes 2:3

“I made my works great, I built myself houses, and planted vineyards.” Ecclesiastes 2:4

“I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made myself water pools from which to water the growing trees of the grove.” Ecclesiastes 2:5-6

“I acquired male and female servants, and had servants born in my house. Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks than all who were in Jerusalem before me. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and of the provinces.” Ecclesiastes 2:7-8

“I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, and musical instruments of all kinds.” Ecclesiastes 2:8

We hear Y.O.L.O. (You Only Live Once) a lot nowadays especially from young people. This simply means we should do everything we want because we only have one life and we will have no chance to do those things when we’re dead. King Solomon is a great example of this. He tried many things in his lifetime. He tried all kinds of pleasure to satisfy himself but at the end of it all, he said it’s chasing the wind. He said it’s all vanity. Vanity is defined in Ecclesiastes as “the futile emptiness of trying to be happy apart from God”.

“So I became great and excelled more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure. For my heart rejoiced in all my labor; and this was my reward from all my labor. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled; and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:9-11

“I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind.” Ecclesiastes 1:14

“So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.” Ecclesiastes 2:17

At the last chapter of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon stated this conclusion:

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments; for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Everybody is in pursuit of happiness. When we ask people why they do what they do, the ultimate answer we will get is “to be happy”. People study, work, marry, have children, acquire wealth, etc. to be happy. We try everything to attain happiness. There is nothing wrong in wanting to be happy. God wants us to be happy. He is not selfish. He wants the best for us. However, many of us look for happiness in the wrong places.

“Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work-this is a gift from God.” Ecclesiastes 5:19

“When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other…” Ecclesiastes 7:14

Travel, food, relationships, work, and wealth are not bad. God wants us to enjoy them. He is not a cosmic killjoy. However, we must know our priorities. When we place these things above the Lord, that’s when they become evil.

“Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment.” Ecclesiastes 11:9

We are created BY GOD, FOR GOD. Our lives are meant to honor the Lord. We are not here in this world only to be happy and to satisfy our every desire. We are here for God’s mission. God can take our life anytime but He is so gracious to us. He always gives us another chance because He doesn’t want any of us to suffer eternity in hell.

“He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

God is so merciful that even when people do the most abominable thing in His sight, He still gives us not just a chance but chances to repent and turn to Him. There are many examples in the Bible where people repented and God forgave them. I have read the whole Bible and not once did I see God reject someone who sincerely repented. The love of God towards mankind is unfathomable. He can blot out our sins. God can turn our scarlet sins into snow.

“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18

Many things bring us heartache in this world and God is aware of it. He sees every tear. God weeps when we weep. He understands our pain. Nothing escapes His knowledge—even the tiniest things that worry us. There is no better cure than God. He knows how to fix us because He created us.

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalms 34:18

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalms 147:3

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Even when things are difficult in this world, God promises us (if we believe in Him with all our heart and follow Him) an eternity that’s sorrow-free.

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” – Revelation 7:17

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4

I may not be able to travel around the world, I may not eat all kinds of food, I may not have knowledge that makes the world applause, I may not acquire great wealth, I may not be married, I may not have everything I want, but I learned and I’m still learning to anchor my happiness and satisfaction in the LORD. I’ve learned in good times and especially in bad times to thank God for His goodness. God is good no matter what my situation is. Even if I die not having everything I want, it’s okay. I rest in the fact that I will be with God in heaven for eternity. I rest in the fact that I will have a life free of sorrow in heaven. That’s what I am looking forward to. My ultimate joy-giver is God. True happiness can only be found in the LORD.

“Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!” Psalm 144:15b

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