When our grandson Jay was a child his parents gave him a new T-shirt for his birthday. He put it on right away and proudly wore it all day.
When he appeared the next morning in the shirt, his dad asked him, “Jay, does that shirt make you happy?”
“Not as much as yesterday,” Jay replied.
That’s the problem with material acquisition: Even the good things of life can’t give us the deep, lasting happiness we so strongly desire. Though we may have many possessions, we may still be unhappy.
The world offers happiness through material accumulation: new clothes, a new automobile, an update to our phone or watch. But no material acquisition can make us as happy as it did yesterday. That’s because we were made for God and nothing less will do.
One day, when Jesus was fasting and faint with hunger, Satan approached Him and tempted Him to satisfy His hunger by creating bread. Jesus countered by quoting from Deuteronomy 8:3: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
Jesus didn’t mean that we shouldn’t live only on bread. He’s rather stating a fact: We’re spiritual beings and thus we can’t exist on material goods alone.
True satisfaction is found in God and His riches.
Why do material acquisitions not provide long-term happiness? What have you learned from past expectations?
Jesus’s forty days without food in the wilderness of Judea comes with echoes of Israel’s forty years in the wilderness of Sinai. Recalling how the Spirit led the Israelites into an uninhabitable no-man’s land, Jesus quoted repeatedly from their wilderness experience (Deuteronomy 6:16; 8:3; 10:20) as He too faced challenges that tested His trust in God to provide the bread and faithfulness on which His life and mission depended (Matthew 4:1–2; Deuteronomy 8:3). In each case, Jesus chose to trust the goodness of the Father He knew rather than the satisfaction (Matthew 4:3), help (v. 6), and compromise (vv. 8–9) suggested by His enemy (v. 10).