Daily Devotion – The Desires of Your Heart

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

Trust in the Lord and do good. Dwell in the land and feed on faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust Him, and He will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as a light, and your justice as the noonday sun. Be silent in the Lord’s presence and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:3-7a, ISV

Don’t you love it when God puts a verse on your heart that you know is just for you? It’s often said that one of the main ways in which the Lord speaks to us is through His written word. This may happen as we’re doing our regular devotional reading, or when we have a question or problem and need an answer, then finding it after we dig into scripture and read the verses that apply. But does He really give us the desires of our heart?

But another way God speaks to us through His word is to speak a verse into our minds along with the directive to look it up so we can get the whole context. And often when we do, He speaks volumes. He did this for me last week.

Valley Nightmare

I’d been in the deep recesses of the valley for a long, long, time. Oh, there were bright points here and there along the way, good things that brought fleeting happiness. But for the most part, I was trudging through the muck and mire of a valley so deep that even dim light barely penetrated. So many traumas and personal problems involving the usual suspects of family, friends, health, career, and the like, that I often despaired of ever having a rope tossed down to me so I could begin climbing up through the rugged terrain and making my way out.

And the enemy, like flying monkeys, continued to harass, shriek at, and buffet me. One of the many trials I faced was the near loss of my new business as a freelance writer. My two best clients, who had been with me almost since the beginning and joyfully raved about how they loved my work, quickly sang a different tune when seemingly out of the blue, new writers turned up for each of them; writers who were willing to write for less than they were paying me. Which was already far below the normal market rates.

But I refused to give up and kept loving, praising and worshiping God as I slogged through the valley. Telling the flying monkeys where they could go, I kept praying and believing that, “God causes all things to work together for good” for those who love Him. (Romans 8:28, NASB)

Then last week, a verse popped into my mind: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4, ISV) With it came the urging of the Holy Spirit to look it up. As I read, the verses He impressed the most upon me were three through the first half of verse seven – perhaps He wasn’t stressing verses one and the second half of seven because I wasn’t angry, as the verses discuss (although He did advise me that these are good reminders).

Trust in the Lord and do good. Dwell in the land and feed on faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust Him, and He will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as a light, and your justice as the noonday sun. Be silent in the Lord’s presence and wait patiently for Him. (Psalm 37:3-7a, ISV)

But God…

It was one of those Eureka! moments. If you’ve ever been given a revelation from the Holy Spirit and understanding suddenly explodes inside your head like holy fireworks, you know exactly what I mean. I read the verses over and over. I even did a word study on several of the words, including fret and wrath.

Although I had never lost faith, it now began to increase. I was sure God was up to something.

A few days later I was scanning articles in a Christian magazine when one grabbed my interest. I clicked on it and gasped.

It was about Psalm 37. And not just any verses, but most of the same ones that God had emphasized to me. As I read, I saw that the writer pulled out two words that he explained the meaning of. They were fret and delight. Confirmation! My increased faith suddenly shot up like a rocket. I now had the faith and strength to continue to wait patiently for Him, as verse seven says.

I didn’t have long to wait. The next day, I had an email in my inbox from an editor with a magazine that I’ve never written for. I’d pitched two story ideas to her almost two months ago. She’d liked them but had to wait until their editor’s meeting this month to get approval on one of them. At the time, she also suggested a third story that she would like to run “someday,” and I told her I would love to write it.

Now, I opened this new email and saw that the editorial board loved her story idea and wanted to hire me to write it.

But God wasn’t finished yet. Last night she sent another email, which I saw this morning. The editorial board decided they wanted me to write all three stories, to the danceable tune of $2500!

Look up!

Are you trudging through the muck of a valley floor, weary and bewildered, and wondering where God is, and if you’ll ever be able to climb out of that frighteningly deep valley? Lift your eyes to the mountains in front of you and remember from where your help comes (Psalm 121:1, ISV). Don’t stop praying. Don’t stop loving, praising and worshiping Him. His timing may not be what you would like, but remember what He promises in His word:

Trust in the Lord and do good. Dwell in the land and feed on faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust Him, and He will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as a light, and your justice as the noonday sun. Be silent in the Lord’s presence and wait patiently for Him. (Psalm 37:3-7a, ISV)

God never breaks His promises.

The other problems that weighed upon me haven’t vanished. Yet. But with God’s help, I can deal with them. Due to His faithfulness, I’m out of the muck and mire, and on my way back up.

And you can be, too.

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