I invite you to consider the following questions:
- What is the greatest source of joy and peace in your life? Is it a person, job, or thing that you enjoy doing?
- What does it mean to delight in your Lord and Savior?
- Can you explain God’s rest for His people? How can we rest in Christ?
- Why does God command us to delight ourselves in Him?
Focal Scripture Passage 1: Psalm 37:4 I recommend reading the entire Psalm for proper context
Quotes are from Larry Crabb’s When God’s Ways Make No Sense
4Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. NASB
This Psalm attributed to David is titled “Security of Those who Trust in the Lord, and the Insecurity of the Wicked.” To understand God’s truth to us in verse four, we need to examine the context.
First, David was observing evil doers prospering (v. 1-2, and 35). He reminds himself to trust in God and “do good.” Focusing on the evil ones prospering can make us envious when we forget that life is short.
Second, David recognizes God’s blessing(s) on those who seek and obey His ways. The greatest blessing possible is knowing God Himself!
Third, we see that God is the judge and will execute His righteous judgement on the “wicked.” We don’t have to find justice (in this life, through our actions) because God will ultimately judge all. Verse 8 warns us to not worry/fret, but to v 7. wait patiently on God.
Fourth, God provides strength, deliverance, and saves “because they take refuge in Him. v 39-40” God provides eternal salvation for His people so we can trust in His ways even when things go badly during this life. We demonstrate trust in Him by taking refuge in Him instead of leaning our own understandings/solutions.
God desires for us to delight in Him by trusting our desires to Him
The people or things that we delight in tend to reveal the focus and desires of our hearts. We humans have an idol problem!
We also misunderstand God’s Word and His Ways too. Part 2 of verse 4 “And He will give you the desires of your heart” if often misquoted and misunderstood. This means that God will gladly give us more of Himself if we delight ourselves in Him. For a collection of scriptures and deeper explanation check out Got question’s explanation of this verse:
In brief, God wants us to desire Him and His Good Things more that what we think is good or want Him to give us. For example, we often pray for blessings and this is scriptural so long as we are asking God for the right things from Him (see James 4:2-4). Yet, are we seeking the good things in accordance with God’s plan for us? What if God doesn’t give us what we seek because He has something else in store for us? We must remember that God’s good is often beyond our ability to understand (pertaining to our circumstances). While it seems as though our prayers are being ignored, God is working in ways that we aren’t aware of. Larry Crabb explains this extensively in his works. He reminds us that we have a tendency to desire solutions and quick fixes to our problems more than trusting in God. We must walk by faith and not by sight alone!
The Greatest Good God can Give Us Is Himself!
Everything is lacking compared to our Holy, Heavenly Father! Nothing can compare to the greatness of His presence and knowing Him! Have you ever wondered why that Paul was able to find comfort and strength is all of his many difficult trials? Paul came to realize that to know and love Jesus is the most important thing! Nothing in his life could take away that peace and joy that came from being made right with God through Jesus. Larry describes this great truth:
“Delight in the Lord. Entrust God, as Paul did, to guard our present and eternal well-being in accord with His understanding of well-being. Our eyes will then open, slowly, to recognize what our Spirit indwelt hearts most desire: to know God and to surrender to God’s ways even when they make no sense to our “this-life-is-all-there-is” way of thinking. pg 119″
God has a different definition for good that we often do
God’s ways are above ours Isaiah 55:9. Got questions really explains this concept well.
I recommend that you carefully and prayerfully read through this explanation. You will find it to be both convicting and comforting when facing troubles and difficulties in your journey. Delighting in the Lord empowers us to walk with hope and trust in God’s ways even when we can’t understand or make sense of what is happening in our lives! There are so many evil and dark things that are happening all around us.
It’s easy to be like Peter when he stepped out of the boat in faith. The waves and wind seek to distract us from our Savior. And I can promise you that you will face storms in your life especially when you are seeking to walk with God. God doesn’t promise us a storm or trouble free life! He promises us that He has overcome nikao all the the world kosmos (John 16:33).
Quick word explanation follows: Nikao- to subdue, conqueror–total victory. Kosmos-refers to the world and its order/organization system–things opposed to God.
God’s Promise to Us
God assures us that we will face tribulations and trials in this life, but we won’t face them alone! Jesus sends Holy Spirit into the lives of His children so that we might be consoled and reminded of His truths (John 16:7-15). Only God can give us rest and peace! Hebrews Chapters 3-4 teaches us about His rest. I previously explored this topic:
Remember that Jesus Himself prayed that we would “may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity” John 17:22b-23a. Jesus was in effect asking God the Father to make us one with Heavenly Father as He is. Jesus is praying that we would be made together in Him to be with Heavenly Father. This process is a total transformation that redeems all parts of us–even our desires and what we seek in our lives.
C.S. Lewis’ becoming a little Christ
Jesus is more concerned about us becoming like Him and being unified with God than being anything else! The best things are those from God: His eternal truths as we are being transformed into becoming “little Christs.” The full quote is below:
“Now the whole offer which Christianity makes is this: that we can, if we let God have His way, come to share in the life of Christ. If we do, we shall then be sharing a life which was begotten, not made, which always existed and always will exist. Christ is the Son of God. If we share in this kind of life we also shall be sons of God. We shall love the Father as He does and the Holy Ghost will arise in us. He came to this world and became a man in order to spread to other men the kind of life He has — by what I call “good infection.” Every Christian is to become a little Christ. The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
It’s sharing in this life, loving the Father as Jesus does, that Holy Spirit arises in us! Holy Spirit convicts and encourages us with God’s Truths in our life. He shows us how we fall short in our human, carnal nature. He leads us to repent and turn to Christ while empowering us to become new creatures.
May God increase your desire for Him! I write these words to encourage you as seek to walk with God in faith and trust!