“I volunteer because it’s so fulfilling! It feels so good!”

“Working with kids makes me feel so full—like I’m fulfilling my purpose.”

In response to questions of motive, how often do we hear phrases like these? How many people do good works because it makes them feel “fulfilled”? How often do we do good because it makes us feel good?

And beyond that, what does it even mean to be fulfilled? What are we fulfilling?

For the unsaved world, fulfillment is the best they can hope for. To feel like they mean something—that their actions and existence fill a meaningful hole in the world. Because God made everyone for a purpose, they eventually find their place and fulfill their role.

And that’s all.

All they can be is a cog in a machine. They have no hope but what they see. And when they become old and rusty, they’re replaced. Just like any other part in any other machine.

And we look on as people frantically try to remedy the problem—to break free of societal molds and push to be more than another brick in the wall.

And try as they might, they fail.

Because their fulfillment is just a feeling. Fleeting. A flash of satisfaction falling into nothing.

But, Christian, this is not our reality.

All people are made for a purpose—God’s workmanship. Created in His image, saved and unsaved alike.

But God’s children have a hope that the world lacks and a purpose that none outside of Christ can understand. Fulfillment is not our final goal, but a feeling to remind us that we are part of God’s plan. To remind us that God made us for a purpose, and here we are doing it.

As long as we are alive and breathing, we can assume God has a plan for us. He is not done. He is fulfilling His plan as we work to fill our parts. We are more than cogs in the world machine; we are active participants in the story of redemption.

We “work out our own salvation” with joy—full and overflowing! We know that our life’s work fills a place left especially for us! And when we are beaten down, tired, overwhelmed, and longing for rest, we look forward to a reward in a life after this. When we grow rusty, we will be renewed.

And that’s our hope.

Chasing fulfillment, a feeling of meaning, ends in dissatisfaction and disappointment. Always.

Chasing God’s plan and filling your place in His story leads to everlasting glory. Full of joy. Filled with hope.