When I was a young Christian and read Psalm 37:4 it was easy for me to twist its words and wisdom. It says, “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” This verse felt like I was given the keys I needed to get all I ever wanted.
I just had to learn to delight in him. So, I asked that He would show me what delighting in the Lord meant, and he began to show me. What I found was that I did not recognize what I truly wanted until he became my greatest desire.
When what we first want reaches past the temporal pleasures of everyday life and into the eternal, our will begins to metamorphose. The things of God become the new desires of our hearts, and the things we once believed we need to quench our thirst lose their shiny appeal. God loves to share his blessings with his children, and there are certain desires we see Him often saying “yes” to.
Every desire finds its origin in the heart; a heart unregenerated longs for the same things the rest of the world desires. When our heart is changed and made new by the power of the Holy Spirit, our desires are made new as well. Victory has been given to the Spirit; the war has been won. This doesn’t mean that we won’t sometimes battle against the seductive pulls of the pleasures of the flesh, but ultimately, we have become a person of the spirit.
We have become one of God’s children and all our unrighteousness will be covered by Jesus. Therefore, all of our true desires, the deep ones, the ones that our spirit cries out for, begin to be transformed as well. Paul says in Galatians 5:16, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Walking by the spirit changes every piece of us. Nothing is left untouched by our savior when we entrust our lives fully to his care.
To See God’s Name Glorified
Yes, there are many who profane the name of God, but what a joy it is to see him move in ways that call people toward him. When hurting hearts find healing, lives bound to the world become free, and righteousness shuts down wickedness. We bask in the joy of seeing the one we love most get the praise and honor he deserves. When our hearts find satisfaction in seeing the Lord rightly, we become like those who sang a song of praise in Isaiah 26:8, “Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.”
To Be Comforted
Comfortis an easy false god to follow, but one that is sure to turn on you if it is chased until caught. Comfort-seeking never finds contentment, even when your life is comfortable. When you have a roof over your head, it whispers that you need something soft to sit on. Then it convinces you that a bigger TV, better food, or a person to hold you might finally deliver the comfort you desire. The false god of comfort tells you more is necessary.
This is why when instructing the Corinthians, Paul did not say trust comfort but instead pointed at the true comforter, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). When we desire to be comforted, God will meet us with lasting comfort that not only helps us, but can be shared with others.
Confidence God Will Complete What He Starts
Many times we find ourselves fretting over spiritual growth, or lack thereof, in ourselves or others. We can ask God to give us confidence in his ability to complete what he starts and rest in that. Paul had this confidence as we see in his prayer for the believers at Philippi, “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:4-6).
To Have Eternal Life
One of the indescribable blessings of being saved by the grace of Christ is that the eternity that awaits us after death is no longer something that we need to fear. The life promised is one of perfection, glory, and forever being in the presence of our wonderful Savior. 1 John 2:17 encourages all believers by recording that, “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” Our hearts can wait with hopeful expectation of the perfection of heaven. For believers, it is a promise that will not fail.
To Never Be Alone
Loneliness is quiet, but it taunts souls, tempting them to settle for anyone or anything that can silence the ache. Take the case of the patriarch Jacob and the long road it took him to realize the presence of God in all his life. He schemed and plotted, married two sisters (and took their handmaids as concubines), had a whole bunch of kids, and acquired enough livestock to fill a zoo. It wasn’t until after many years of striving, trying to make his own way that he looked back and saw the grace that paved his way.
In Genesis 35:3 we finally see a shift in his character, “I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.” We were made for community, and God continually reminds us in his word that he is with us.
In the book, Glorious Weakness Alia Joy’s words beg us not to forget God is with us. “Jesus knows we will be ravaged by our hunger, by our doubt, by the tendency to want to sustain ourselves, protect ourselves, rescue ourselves, nourish ourselves, name ourselves. He also knows we are utterly incapable of remaining sober-minded on our own, not when we face such terrible lies, such loud voices of accusation. Jesus promises we will not go into the wilderness alone.”
For Evil to Be Destroyed
Too often we hear news of pain inflicted by evil. War, abuses of many forms, and mass shootings plague our land and we should hope to see an end to all the villainy. We do not know when it will happen, but it will happen. In the same Psalm that instructs us to delight in the Lord, we also find hope that someday evil’s reign will end: “For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.” (Psalm 37:9-11)
To Find True Peace
Both the world and the mind can be precarious places, but it is right to desire peace, trust, and an undisturbed heart. Jesus knew there would be trouble, but he knew what we would need and left us with it. He told his disciples in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
We can call upon the promises God has left in his word as truth. Isaiah 26:3-4 says of God, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.”Many hard days, thoughts, and Satan himself can attack our peace, but we serve a God who promises a peace that will persist in him.
To Be Healed
We are not wrong in thinking that death, sickness, and broken emotions are contrary to abundant life. The reality is we live in a fallen world riddled with the consequences of sin and rebellion towards God, and sometimes we don’t get to see the healing we want for others or ourselves. But we serve a God who knows what perfect healing looks like, and even when we do not receive what we want this side of heaven, we can trust the truth of Revelation 21:4:
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
We seek God, hope in God, and wait for God as we praise him for all he has done and will do. We follow the example of the psalmist in Psalm 103:2-5 “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.”
To Be Forgiven
There is no greater need for anyone than the need for forgiveness. All have sinned, and when we seek God’s forgiveness through his son, we are given it without question. It is a desire met with the gift of salvation that cuts through every chain darkness tries to wrap around us. Colossians 1:13-14 declares, “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Ephesians 1:7 reminds us of the same good news, and the cost Jesus paid to obtain it: “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” Forgiveness is ours, and it cannot be taken. It is central to our hope, and a desire fulfilled to every soul secured in Christ.
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