We have all thought how good it is to be satisfied. How many times we have heard people testify and rejoice that they had reached this experience! I would not depreciate this sense of satisfaction, for out of it come many enjoyable things. It is a very pleasurable feeling and one that most people very earnestly desire. There are times, however, when such a feeling would be anything but a blessing. Perhaps this surprises you. God has made provision to satisfy us. Christ said that he who would drink of the water of life should thirst no more; for it should be in him a well of water, and thus his thirst should be continually quenched. So there is a continual satisfaction in God. It is a good thing to be thus satisfied with God and his plans and ways and with our salvation, and dissatisfaction with any of these, if we are saved, is an evil to which we should not give place; but hardly any greater evil could come upon us than a complete and constant sense of satisfaction relating to our attainments in grace, the development of our spiritual powers, or the measures of our service to God.
Suppose God had been satisfied with the world-conditions before Christ came. We should now have no Savior and no salvation. He was dissatisfied, thoroughly dissatisfied, and so he made the greatest sacrifice that he could make to change existing conditions. Paul was once very well satisfied with his place in the Jewish religion; he was not looking for anything better. His dissatisfaction arose from the fact that some other people were not satisfied thus but were finding and advocating something different. This aroused his severest condemnation. What he had was good enough for him and ought to be good enough for them.
There are many today who are just like Paul was. They are fully contented in their present situation, and should any one try to show them its insufficiency and the need of higher attainment, it would only arouse their opposition and indignation. That is why so many people oppose holiness. Just as soon as Paul saw Christ and the higher and better things for which Christ stood, he suddenly lost his satisfaction and became an earnest seeker for those better things. Sometimes it takes a rude shock to break through our self-satisfaction and to show us our true needs; but when it comes and arouses dissatisfaction, it is truly a blessing.
Suppose Luther had been satisfied to continue in the Catholic church, approving and submitting to her teachings and practices. Where might the world have been today? He became dissatisfied and gave voice to that dissatisfaction. Others heard and became dissatisfied. This dissatisfaction made their hearts hungry for God, and out of that heart-hunger came the Reformation.
Dissatisfaction has brought us the multitude of new things which we have to use and enjoy. It has been because men became dissatisfied with old methods and old implements and old ideas and customs and old attainments that they have toiled in painful research, that they have labored night and day to invent new things. In some places, people still plow with a crooked stick and grind their flour in hand-mills. What their fathers had is good enough for them. Some people are like that about religion. What their fathers had is good enough for them, and they are indignant if we even suggest something better; they are satisfied. There are others who sought and obtained a real experience of forgiveness, but right there they stopped. Years have passed. They were satisfied when they were first saved (which was a very good thing); the only trouble was that they remained satisfied and never made any further progress. They hear entire sanctification preached, they accept the doctrine intellectually, but they can never be persuaded to press on into the experience themselves. They go on from year to year to year and never make any real spiritual advancement. What is the trouble? Oh, they are just satisfied, that is all; and they will never get any further till their sleepy satisfaction is rudely broken in upon by something that startles them out of their security and awakens them to their needs. That will bring dissatisfaction and that in time will set them to seeking to have those needs supplied.
To those who are dissatisfied, who realize your needs and lacks, I say: Do not be discouraged. God means by this very feeling of dissatisfaction with yourself to spur you on to seek diligently for higher and better attainments. If you allow yourself to be discouraged, it will only hinder you. God will help you to obtain that which you need. Do not falter because your need seems great; God’s supply is more abundant than your need. Cast off every weight. Press forward. God will help you. When once he has aroused you to effort, you will find him ready to help. Your dissatisfaction is most encouraging. Do not stay dissatisfied; press on till you obtain what you need. You will never attain your full measure of desire in this life, but you may obtain much, and what you do obtain will prepare you for that fulness and satisfaction which only eternity can bring you.
Dissatisfaction is never welcome, but it is a true friend. Through it you may reach blessed attainments and soul-enriching grace. Value it and use it rightly, and it will prove a great blessing, though it may often be a blessing in disguise