My daughter and I were talking recently about the quest for satisfaction that drives women in our culture and how it is becoming painfully clear that achievement and success have not delivered the payoff of personal satisfaction that women seek. In the brief reflective spaces sandwiched between their frenzied commitments, women are now realizing that external accomplishments do not satisfy their deepest inner longings. That may be your experience. So, the search for satisfaction continues.
What many women don’t realize is that they are created by God with a built-in spiritual thirst for a relationship with Him. This spiritual thirst is as real as physical thirst, but the way to have it satisfied is not as obvious. Yet, the desire to satisfy this thirst draws women toward the spiritual arena. I was that woman when I was invited to join a small women’s Bible study group. There, I met Jesus in the pages of the Bible. As my relationship grew with Him, I recognized a deep sense of being satisfied. My longing to know God was being fulfilled. It still is.
A relationship with another human cannot satisfy a thirsty heart. Only God can, and His plan to do that included coming to earth to take on a human body and to live as a man among us. Enter Jesus. As the radical rabbi, Jesus treated women as no man had ever before treated them. His warmth, personal attention, tenderness, sound teaching, and compassion toward women were revolutionary. He openly demonstrated His love for each individual He met—both men and women—for whom He would ultimately die. Jesus promises that a relationship with Him will satisfy a woman’s thirsty heart. Every woman can be satisfied by His love.
That’s the theme of Satisfied by His Love, my newly released “Graceful Beginnings” Bible study for anyone new to the Bible. A group of seven special women joined me in spring 2017 to work through this study and make it the best it could be. I am so grateful for their contribution and their confidence that this study will change the lives of many women as they get to know Jesus’ love for them.
I love how the writer of Psalm 103 lists the many ways that God satisfies our thirsty hearts.
“Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:2-5)
Every woman who comes to Jesus will find that He satisfies her desires, her built-in spiritual thirst, with good things. Forgiveness. Healing. Hope for dire circumstances. Freedom from bondage. Assurance of being loved. Compassion. Add to those, the need for truth. Jesus does that and more! Here are some examples from the study:
Jesus Satisfies Your Heart with Compassion
When He met a widow whose only son died (Luke 7:11-17), Jesus knew and felt her deep hurt and fear about what would happen to her. He acted on her behalf and compassionately gave her son back to her. She was crowned with love and compassion. To be crowned with compassion means to be surrounded with it so that you have a sense of God’s favor and protection. A satisfied heart senses God’s favor and compassion.
Jesus Satisfies Your Heart with Truth
A Samaritan woman (John 4:5-42) grew up knowing only half-truths. And, because she was deficient in truth, she could not have a proper relationship with the true God. Her need for spiritual life remained unsatisfied, then Jesus entered her life. He satisfied her need for truth and love by giving her Himself. In a few brief moments, she was taught truth that changed her life forever. A satisfied heart can stand firmly on the truth that brings real life, real love and fulfilling relationships.
Jesus Satisfies Your Heart with Forgiveness
Jesus took notice of a “worthless” woman of the town in Luke 7:36-50. Because she was held in bondage by her sin, she could not have a proper relationship with the true God. Her need for spiritual life remained unsatisfied. Jesus entered her life. He recognized her faith in Him, cleansed her of sin, and gave her a chance for a new life. Like this woman, we don’t just need a teacher. We need a Savior who comes in and does for us what we can’t do for ourselves—forgiveness. The complete and continual forgiveness we receive by faith in Jesus satisfies our thirst for forgiveness, which motivates us to want to live a life that pleases Him. A satisfied heart basks in being forgiven.
Jesus Satisfies Your Heart with Hope
In Mark 5:21-43, Jesus stopped His public ministry to heal two women who were beyond human help and without hope. One was socially dead; the other was physically dead. One touched Him and was healed without a word; the other He touched and spoke to when she was healed. One was an outcast; the other was loved within her family circle. Jesus lovingly took notice of both of them. He satisfied their immediate needs and gave them hope for the future. A satisfied heart receives hope and comfort to go through what seems to be insurmountable odds.
Jesus Satisfies Your Heart with Freedom
Mary Magdalene was once held in miserable spiritual bondage (Luke 8:3). Then, Jesus came into her life, satisfied her immediate need for freedom from bondage and gave her abundant life. Out of love and gratitude for His grace, she freely chose to travel with Jesus and care for His needs with money, effort and time. Mary followed Jesus to Jerusalem and was present at the cross. Responding to His grace out of love and gratitude, she was willing to love Him, obey Him, and serve Him with her life. God wants you to relate to Him on the basis of His grace, so that your obedience is based on His love for you, your love for Him, and gratitude for what Christ has done for you. You have been set free from whatever spiritual bondage you have experienced. A satisfied heart thanks Him for this wonderful freedom.
Jesus Satisfies Your Heart with Assurance of His Love
When Jesus met Mary and Martha, they needed neither healing nor a cleaned-up reputation. They weren’t destitute or in dire circumstances. Yet, they still needed assurance of His love for them. His love didn’t allow Martha to stay focused on the wrong things (tasks & choices) so He confronted that and gave new direction (Luke 10:38-42). His love defended Mary when she was criticized by His own disciples (John 12:1-11). His love gave her respect and commendation instead. His love allowed both of them to learn from Him. When Lazarus died, Jesus assured Martha and Mary of His love by going to be with them and then raising their brother back to life. He accepted their different ways of thanking Him. Their satisfied hearts based in the assurance of His love.
Do you need forgiveness? Jesus does that. Do you need healing and hope for dire circumstances? Jesus does that. Are you in bondage to something? Jesus frees you from bondage. Do you need assurance that you are loved? Jesus crowns you with His love and compassion. A satisfied heart can go forward with complete assurance that your God knows how to love you well!
LET JESUS SATISFY YOUR HEART WITH THE GOODNESS OF HIS LOVE.
Author: Melanie Newton
Melanie Newton helps women learn how to study the Bible for themselves through her Joyful Walk Bible Studies. She also teaches online courses for anyone to grow their Bible-teaching skills to help others—all with the goal of getting to know Jesus more along the way. She has lots of resources available on her website melanienewton.com for you to use in your life and ministry. Melanie believes that it’s always the right time for a Dr. Pepper, that her family is the greatest, and being outside for even a few minutes is a daily necessity. Woohoo!