Where Real Fulfilment Lies (March 2020)

How often do we hear people say they have decided to do something to change their life, because it is what they believe will bring them fulfilment?  The thinking goes, that in order to find true happiness, there is something about each of us that we need to find.  And if we choose things in life which do not ‘fit’ then we will be unhappy.  There is some real truth in that.  But, it is far from being the whole truth. 

That is because the inner urges which drive us, the impulses which give us satisfaction, the things which we enjoy in life, are driven by what is within our emotional make-up, within our unconscious.  This can often be very thoroughly affected by our upbringing, past experiences, current experiences, relationships past and current, context we live in, emotions, alcohol or drugs we might be taking, and so on.  It all means that when somebody says ‘I want….’ - what that is alters greatly from one year to the next, and across a lifetime it can change multiple times.

Contrast our inherent fickleness with how God is. 

God is the same yesterday,
today and forever. 
He never changes. 
His faithfulness
never waivers. 

That beautiful hymn by Thomas Obadiah Chisholm, ‘Great is thy faithfulness’ has the haunting words in its first verse, ‘There is no shadow of turning with thee.’  Where our human frailties mean we twist and turn in our approach to life all the time, God does not at all – and even the idea of changing doesn’t have a shadow over God’s way of being.

Moreover, as Creator of the universe, He knows us far better than anyone ever will, even than we know ourselves.  So, He knows what is best for us – best for us today, and tomorrow, and every single day.  That means, if you want to be fulfilled.  If you want to know what direction to take your life. 

If you want to know what will make you happiest, not only today or for a few weeks, but over the whole course of a lifetime – then God is the best place to look for guidance. Jesus said so himself:  ‘I have come that you might have life, life in all its fullness’  (John 10.10 Good News translation).  He says that in the context of teaching about Himself as the Good Shepherd, who looks after His sheep.  Furthermore, He says that He is the Gate for the sheep, and that all who come through will be saved.  Jesus is the way to be saved, the way to eternal life, the way to know God’s blessing. 

So, if you want to know where you are going in life, and whether you are following what God wants for you, you just need to look at whether you are following Jesus’ lead.  Follow His lead in terms of how He behaves in different situations; follow His lead in doing what he teaches.  A daily habit of prayer and bible reading is a great way to remain close to Jesus each and every day. That is the way to know true fulfilment, to know life in all its fullness.

Tina Upton


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