Context is very important to our understanding of God’s Word and His ways. But I repeatedly hear one promise quoted apart from its scriptural framework: “God said He would give me the desires of my heart, and so I’m trusting Him to do that.” I would not dispute the Lord’s promise because He certainly did commit to blessing His children. However, believers must ready themselves to receive God’s blessings by doing some spiritual housekeeping.
A person’s capacity to desire is from God. Aspirations motivate people to hard work and achievement. Our yearnings can also inspire and energize us. Just think how boring life would be if we had nothing to work toward. The nature of one’s ambitions reveals that person’s character and sense of purpose. Furthermore, the way in which someone goes about fulfilling them says a lot about his or her understanding of God and His providence. Righteous desires are the result of a growing relationship with the Lord.
In today’s passage, believers are told what is required before they can lay claim to God’s promise of fulfilling their desires: they must delight in Him (v. 4), commit their ways to Him (v. 5), trust Him (v. 5), and rest in Him (v. 7). All of these spiritual activities are part of a maturing faith.
If we disregard the context of God’s promise, our hearts will be troubled rather than blessed. People get to fretting when their requests seem to go unnoticed. But believers can’t ignore scriptural directives. We must submit our desires to the Lord and patiently trust Him to fill them, if that is His will.
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