Monday, August 15, 2016

The Desires of Your Heart

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

Someone asked me the other day if the promises of God are true. It took me a little more than a nano-second to respond, “Absolutely!” The person was also quick to reply, “Then why don’t I get the desires of my heart?” 

I believed it to be an honest question, deserving an honest answer. The person referred to Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” A brief glance at that verse may lead to frustration and disappointment if not kept in its context. It’s a profound promise packaged in the middle of nine verses that instruct us about our heart before the Lord. Let’s take a quick look at that instruction.

Verse 1 teaches us not to fret about evildoers and envy them. Let God deal with their success while you watch your own actions.

Verse 3 teaches us to trust in the Lord, to do good, and cultivate faithfulness. I think of this as growing in maturity. When we focus on these important issues, we leave the “big things” in life to God, which relates to our deepest desires.

Verse 4 clearly teaches us to delight in the Lord. That’s another way of saying to seek what God desires, or to pursue His good pleasure. When we do that, our desires seem to fall into place.

Verse 5 teaches us to trust in the Lord and commit to His way. God’s Word helps here because it is a “light unto our path” [Psalm 119:105]. When we walk in the lighted pathway, we know we are heading in the right direction. Don’t ever expect God to bless sinful missteps; keep to His purposeful plan.

Verse 7 teaches us to rest in the Lord and wait with patience. God has flawless timing even when we don’t see an immediate response to our cry.

Verse 8 teaches us to put away anger and wrath. These two things will turn a heart toward evil if not dealt with right away. 

So when it comes to your desires, and you are frustrated by what seems to be a lack of response from God, pray through the entirety of Psalm 37:1-9. You’ll be surprised how it brings your will in line with His will.

1 Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; 2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. 3 Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4 Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. 4 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. 7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. 8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. 9 For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. Psalm 37:1-9

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