And He shall give you the desires of your heart

Word of God: speak! by Fr. Dana Jackson

Psalm 37:4

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.

At first glance this Scripture might seem to be God’s promise that He will give us everything we could ever ask for…but like all Scripture, we need to do just a little digging. Rice will not grow in clay and a rose will not grow in a bog: we must examine the context – the setting or background in which a Scripture lives – in order to see how and where it applies to our lives. What do the previous verses of this Psalm say to us?

1 Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

David tells us not to worry ourselves because of evildoers, and especially to not envy those who do wrong. It seems like they are prospering, but the Lord says they shall soon be cut down like the grass. Don’t seek to imitate their actions and don’t seek to gain what they have accumulated. David knows what he’s talking about – he has seen how his predecessor Saul met his end, and his own son Absalom as well.

3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Instead, trust in the Lord and do His will; dwell in the place He has planted you, and make His faithful provision your daily bread. Delight yourself in the Lord: in other words, enjoy doing what the Lord desires you to do. Serve Him not with drudgery and regret, grumbling and complaining about how others are prospering. Instead, throw all your energy into doing His will. If you find joy in accomplishing the tasks He sets before you and your heart’s desire is to do even more, then He will give you the desires of your heart. He will give you what you want because you want what He wants.

But what if you don’t know what He wants for you? What if you have no clue as to His purpose for your life?

5 Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.

Make a commitment: make a promise to Him to follow His ways wherever they lead. Commit your entire journey – your whole life – to Him, even when all is darkness and you can’t see. Trust in Him to show you the way, and abandon yourself completely to Him. He may reveal the next mile, or only the next step, but either way He will provide all you need for the journey as you go.

After all…who wants to carry all the supplies for a fifty-year journey from the very first day?

Non nobis Domine+

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