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He Satisfies Your Desires With Good Things

We all have desires. Some are shallow and short-lived; we have them today and forget about them tomorrow. Others seem to go deep, to the very core of who we are.

A big part of the Christian walk is learning how to handle our desires. What is the source of the desire? Does it satisfy something in our spirit or in our flesh?

The Bible has a lot to say about our desires. God’s word does not ignore the subject of desire, nor does it assume all desire is evil. The Bible recognizes that desire is a part of who we are. God made us to experience desire. So the question is: how do we experience it the way God intended?

Psalm 37:3,4 talks about our desires in terms of our relationship with God:

Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

It is easy to read those verses and want to see only that last phrase. “He will give you the desires of your heart.” Sounds great, right? It certainly sounds like what we want to hear, but is this what the psalmist is saying?

Notice first that this is not a promise that God will give you the desires of your flesh, or satisfy every carnal appetite. It is a promise to satisfy the desires of your heart, a heart that is being shaped by regular exposure to the Father.

Next, back up and look at the actions described in those verses: trust, do good, dwell, take delight. These words describe someone who has made God the focus of their life, and that life is best spent pursuing relationship with Him.

The person who chooses and pursues a life of trust in God, of doing good in the world around them, of dwelling in the presence of God, and delighting in the things of God will find that their heart is changing. Priorities change. Goals change. Desires change.

This is part of the good work that He began in us, and we can be confident that He is faithful to complete that work in us (Philippians 1:6). As He works His change in us, we begin a process I call “learning to live from the hand of God.” This is a life attitude defined by complete trust in God, in His goodness, in His sovereignty, and in His purpose for us.

Learning to live from the hand of God means we can trust Him with every part of our lives, including our hopes and dreams and desires. James 1:17 says:

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

As we learn to trust the Father with our hearts and our desires, we learn to seek the good and perfect gifts that can come only from Him.

Psalm 103:1-5 puts it this way:

Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
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.

He will satisfy your desires with good things! What a tremendous promise, and one that can sustain us our entire lives.

Think about the desires of your heart. Do you trust God with those desires? Do you trust that He will satisfy your desires with good things?

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