Will God Give Me the Desires of My Heart?

Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart (Ps. 37:4).

Yeah, right, I thought to myself in my early twenties. If God really gave us the desires of our heart, I would still be with Seth.

Seth was my high school sweetheart, and I was convinced he was “The One.” We dreamed about marriage and planning a life together. We hoped to get married after I graduated college and he finished his first stint in the military.

I truly thought a future with Seth was God’s will for my life. It seemed as if God was granting me the “desires of my heart”: my dream college, my dream guy, and my dream of a picture-perfect life.

Dreams Shattered, Door Slammed Shut

Then fast-forward to the middle of my first semester in college. I got the phone call I had desperately feared. Seth broke up with me. To say my heart was shattered is a total understatement. My dreams for the future were shattered, too.

Through college and shortly thereafter, I navigated my way through three negative relationships, and when the last one ended, I reached a breaking point. I was done with dating. My mind drifted back to Seth, and I ached for that relationship. After all, it was the only positive one I had experienced in years.

I began to wonder where he was, so I Googled his name and found a YouTube video of him sharing his testimony. As I watched, I noticed he was wearing a wedding ring. The tears began to flow when I realized there was no chance of a future with him. That door had been slammed shut in my face.

“Whatever You Have for Me, Lord”

You may not be pining for your high school sweetheart, but it’s possible you’re longing for something today. What’s the desire in your heart? Is it . . .

  • To be healed of a chronic illness?
  • To have a boyfriend?
  • To get accepted to a certain college or scholarship program?
  • To be married?
  • To have a family of your own?
  • To land that perfect job?
  • To do something “big” for Jesus?

None of those desires are bad desires, right? But if we’re longing for something we desperately desire but we don’t have, then making sense of Psalm 37:4 can be challenging. Confusing, even.

Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart (Ps. 37:4).

  • If we desire a good thing, is God supposed to give it to us?
  • If we follow and obey God, will He finally give us what we long for?
  • Why does it seem that He’s holding out on us when what we desperately desire isn’t sinful or bad for us?

To answer those questions, let’s unpack this verse together.

What does it mean to “delight yourself in the LORD”?

Simply put, this phrase means to find our joy in God.

We make Him the source of our happiness, our satisfaction. We enjoy knowing Him, worshiping Him, and serving Him. We find delight in Him.

When we find delight in God, does that mean He’ll give us what we desire? Not always.

As we make God our joy, He works in our hearts to shape—to redefine—our desires.

Over time, I’ve realized that the more I seek to follow God’s commands and to be like Him, the more the true desire of my heart becomes, “Whatever You want from me, Lord, I’ll give, and whatever You have for me, Lord, I’ll take.” Now I am finally at a point where my heart’s desire is whatever it is that God has planned for me.

If I had had that understanding back in my teen years, I would’ve had a completely different attitude when it came to my relationship with Seth. Instead of saying, “God, I desire marriage with Seth because I really like him and he’s a Christian,” I would have said, “If marriage with Seth is what You want for us, You’ll lead us that way. Help me in the meantime to keep my focus on what You want, not what I’d like to happen.”

Truly delighting in the Lord causes our desires to shift away from a list of things, people, or circumstances we want and instead becomes, “Whatever You have for me, Lord.”

His plans for us may be different than anything we ever planned or expected, but His ways will fulfill us beyond what we’d imagined.

  • Have you struggled to understand Psalm 37:4 in your own life?
  • How have you surrendered your desires to God?

About Author

Sarah Garrett is a passionate educator and founder of the Transformed4More Ministries that she runs with her identical twin sister. It is her desire to reach struggling teenagers and tell them about the transformative power and love of God. Her book, "So, You Think You Are Ready to Date?" released in October 2017.

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