Sep 5, 2012
Last week I posted on how to be content — that no matter our circumstances Jesus promises to completely satisfy all our heart-hungers with His presence, when we come to Him and believe in Him (John 6:35).
So here’s the crucial question Anne raised (she gave me permission to include it) —
You said that being satisfied in Jesus does not mean we stop desiring other things, but that we can be satisfied in him in the meantime.
What about contentment with things that are NOT going to change. I.e. things you dislike about your spouse’s physical appearance so much that it consumes you and you wish this-and-that were different about him?
How do you deal with THOSE kind of desires — if being satisfied in Jesus doesn’t mean other desires will go away?
I’ve been crying out to the Lord to change my heart on this! Don’t know what else to do. I’ve already tried the willpower thing and it doesn’t work.
So here are my thoughts —
(I’d like to hear from others — leave your thoughts for Anne in the comments section below.)
My heart goes out to you in your struggle.
I am praying for you — and hope that my words (and the words of other readers) will encourage you.
Satisfaction in Christ — with other desires
When we are fully satisfied in Christ it doesn’t mean we lose all other desires.
Paul — who understood how to be content in Christ — desired his cloak and books (2Tim 4:13), and longed to see the Thessalonians (1Th 2:17).
So it’s possible to be fully satisfied in Christ — and at the same time desire other things.
You don’t need these other things to be fully satisfied — because you are fully satisfied in Christ.
But because you are satisfied in Christ — then for the sake of love, for the sake of His glory, for the sake of more joy in Him — that satisfaction can and will stir desire for other things.
But what you said sounds different
You said you were consumed by the desire for your husband’s appearance to change.
It sounds like this desire might be keeping you from being satisfied in Christ.
It sounds like you might feel you can’t be fully satisfied in Christ unless your husband changes.
If so — then it’s not that you are fully satisfied in Christ — and desiring other things.
It’s that your desire for other things is keeping you from being satisfied in Christ.
Does that sound right?
But there’s good news
This is where Jesus’ promise brings such good news —
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. John 6:35
Jesus promises to satisfy you so much in Himself that you no longer are consumed with desire for your husband to change.
Let me ask — have you had times when you have felt the beauty and love of Jesus so much that you were completely satisfied? So that you were fully satisfied in Christ alone — regardless of whether your husband changes?
That’s what Jesus promises to do for you.
By doing what Jesus said in John 6:35 — by coming to Jesus and believing in Him.
Here’s what this means —
- Turn to Jesus Christ just as you are, and trust Him to help you.
- Confess that you are consumed by desire for something other than Him — and ask Him to forgive you.
- Receive assurance that through the Cross you are fully forgiven and God welcomes and loves you.
- Plead with Jesus to give you more of the heart-changing work of the Spirit.
- Turn from trusting your husband’s appearance to satisfy you, and set your heart on Jesus Christ. Trust His promise to fully satisfy you in Himself (John 4:13-14; John 6:35; John 7:37-38).
- Prayerfully read over truth about Jesus — like His compassion (Luk 13:11-13), power (Mark 4:39), saving work (2Cor 8:9), deity (Heb 1:3).
- Pray over truths like these until the Holy Spirit changes your heart so you feel that Jesus is infinitely more satisfying than your husband’s appearance. This might take some time, so be patient.
- Keep pursuing this until your heart feels so full that you don’t need anything else besides Jesus to satisfy you completely.
Based on Jesus’ promise in John 6:35 — I am confident that as you do this, He will completely satisfy your heart in Himself.
And when this happens — your desires will change.
No longer will you be consumed by desire for your husband to change — because you are fully satisfied in Christ.
But — you can still want him to change.
Not because you need it to be satisfied. But maybe because it will bring him good, it will bring Jesus’ glory, or it will make your marriage easier.
And so you could pray and ask God to change him. You could — in a loving and humble way — talk with him about this.
But you don’t need him to change to be fully satisfied — because as you continue to come to Jesus and believe in Him — He will continue to satisfy your every heart-hunger in Himself.
I hope that helps.
Please let me know your thoughts — and I’m praying for you.
Does anyone else have any suggestions?
I’m sure Anne would appreciate them — leave them below. Thanks.
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And here’s some related posts you might find helpful —
(Picture from everystockphoto by mrinkk.)