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Words: credited to “B.E.,” possibly Emma Frances Shuttleworth Beven (b. Sept. 25, 1827; d. Feb. 13, 1909)
Music: James McGranahan (b. July 4, 1840; d. July 9, 1907)
Note: Most hymn books credit this 1879 hymn simply to B.E., with no further data available. Hymnary.org has identified the author as Emma Beven, whose work mainly involved translating German hymns into English–though she did write some songs of her own. They note that she rarely attributed the translation work to herself by name. Whether “B.E.” is Mrs. Bevan, I’m not sure. (One might expect the initials then to be E.B. but the B.E. may be in the nature of a pen name.)
CH-1) O Christ, in Thee my soul hath found,
And found in Thee alone,
The peace, the joy I sought so long,
The bliss till now unknown.
Now none but Christ can satisfy,
None other name for me!
There’s love, and life, and lasting joy,
Lord Jesus, found in Thee.
The phrase “Satisfaction Guaranteed” is a familiar one in the retail industry. It usually means that if a customer is not fully satisfied with his purchase, he can return it for a refund. But, of course, the proclaimed satisfaction has its limits. If a computer was purchased and returned, the individual is once again without a computer. The need is still unmet–and the manufacturer is without a sale! In a way, dissatisfaction guaranteed would be more accurate!
Some form of the word satisfaction is found dozens of times in the Bible. It carries the idea not only of expectations fulfilled and needs met, but of resulting contentment. A brief look at how the word is used will help us to understand the nature of spiritual fulfilment, where it is to be found, and where it’s not.
The Word of God points out what many have learned to their sorrow: that living simply to acquire wealth does not satisfy (Ecc. 5:10). Rich men seem to want to be richer, and richer still. And working hard isn’t satisfying either, if its goal is just to put food on the table, with nothing more noble or lasting to be achieved by it (Ecc. 6:7).
True soul satisfaction is found in our relationship with the Lord. But there were times when the nation of Israel turned away from Him, seeking satisfaction in what the heathen nations around them could provide–including new gods. Not willing to do things God’s way, they spent their wealth to curry favour where it wasn’t rightly to be found. This is described by the Lord as spiritual harlotry (Ezek. 16:17, 28-29).
“My people have committed two evils,” says the Lord in Jeremiah: “They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns–broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jer. 2:13). Only by returning to the Lord would the nation find the spiritual satisfaction they craved. And they would find it was freely available in abundance, by the grace of God (Isa. 55:1-3). Notice how the hymn’s author makes use of the Jeremiah passage in the third stanza.
CH-2) I sighed for rest and happiness,
I yearned for them, not Thee;
But, while I passed my Saviour by,
His love laid hold on me.
CH-3) I tried the broken cisterns, Lord,
But, ah, the waters failed;
Even as I stooped to drink they fled,
And mocked me as I wailed.
Finding satisfaction in the Lord not only applied to the nation of Israel, but it’s experienced on this side of the cross when the individual turns to Christ. For each of us today, “The fear of the Lord [reverencing Him, and accepting His lordship over us] leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction” (Prov. 19:23). “For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness” (Ps. 107:9).
For the Christian, all of this is wrapped up in the person of the Lord Jesus, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3), “through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:2). “Of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace [grace heaped upon grace]” (Jn. 1:16). “I am the vine,” Jesus said, and “you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit” (Jn. 15:5)–both the fruit of godly character, and of meaningful service for the Lord.
CH-4) The pleasures lost I sadly mourned,
But never wept for Thee,
Till grace the sightless eyes received,
Thy loveliness to see.
1) What is the most satisfying thing about being a Christian?
2) When we become dissatisfied in life, what is the possible problem?