Sun shining through a tree which has orange leaves
Encouragement

What We Delight In: Heart Checkup #2 from Psalm 37

by Katy Kauffman

Red, orange, and yellow leaves dancing in the wind. Little girl giggles. Children calling to each other in the neighborhood. A card from a friend. Spending time with someone you love.

What do you take delight in?

When life tempts us to burrow in anxiety or sorrow, the antidote is to remember what gives the opposite—joy. We may not feel like searching for joy in the moment, but Psalm 37:4 calls us to find joy in the unshakeable source of delight and strength.

“Delight yourself also in the LORD,
and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
(Psalm 37:4 NKJV*)

Don’t only trust in Him, like verse 3 says, but also, delight in Him.

  • Delight in His love for you (John 15:9).
  • Delight in His ability to create new beginnings (Jeremiah 29:11).
  • Delight in His mercy and kindness (Psalm 103:8).
  • Delight in His desire for you to be close to Him and love Him (Deuteronomy 30:20, Mark 12:30, Hebrews 10:22).

God could have chosen anything to be the basis of His personality, His character, and His essence. He chose love.

  • “God is love” (1 John 4:8).
  • “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you” (Jeremiah 31:3).
  • “I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good” (Jeremiah 32:40).
  • “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

In the pages of Scripture and in our daily lives, we see God’s message—I love you and care about you, so find in Me what you need.

What is the result of trusting God and delighting in Him? A gracious gift—“He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). The petitions,1 the prayer requests. The needs, and yes, the desires.

When our hearts take joy in God, who He is shapes who we are and what we want. We love more what He loves, and we hate what He hates. We want to see His will done in the world and in our hearts. Even when we want good things, we understand the value of His methods and timing.

I’ve seen God shape my heart and desires to align with His own, and I know with all I am that this process of delighting in Him and growing as one of His children, is a lifetime adventure of love and “with.” He stays with us and wants us to be with Him. He can handle any setback or challenge we face. His love and strength sustain us through the process of overcoming obstacles and waiting for answered prayer.

When God is our greatest joy, our hearts find the best Person to love and cherish. We find the greatest Giver of gifts (James 1:17), the greatest Source of wisdom and power (Ephesians 3:20), the greatest Healer (Jeremiah 17:14), and the greatest Friend (Proverbs 18:24).

“Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed;
save me, and I shall be saved,
for You are my praise.”
(Jeremiah 17:14)

God knows how to win the victory. He knows what healing—physical, spiritual, or emotional— we need or a loved one needs. In the process of finding His path and plan for our lives, we have reason to praise Him. As we know Him better and better, we find reasons to delight in Him.

Heart Checkup #2:

When a trigger threatens to engulf our hearts with stress or sorrow, how quickly do we remember the good things we have and the heavenly Father we belong to? God cherishes us and “heals the brokenhearted” (Ps 147:3). No matter how long the healing or recovery process takes, we can count on God to help us through difficulties. We can count on Him to be with us and give us joy, even in pain.

May your heart constantly turn to God to delight in Him and find what you need and want. May His faithfulness sustain you as you trust Him and wait to see good come out of troubles. And may the joy of being with God protect you as a shield when you walk through the fire or wait for floodwaters to subside (Isaiah 43:2). God and His love are with us always.

Discussion Question:

What gives you joy about God’s character, about His heart? How does that help you to wade through discouragement or walk through difficulties? Leave a comment!

*All Scripture verses are taken from the NKJV.

1. Larry Pierce, The Online Bible, CD-ROM (Winterbourne, Ontario: Larry Pierce, 2019), Psalm 37:4.

2 Comments

  • Joanna Eccles

    Psalm 37 is one of my favorite psalms. I pray that as I learn to delight in the Lord, that He will remove my earthly desires and give me His perfect desires to fill my heart. Then my hopes and dreams will align to His will for me.

    • Lighthouse Bible Studies

      Yes! Amen to that, Joanna. I want that exchange too. What’s in His heart for us definitely is “perfect”–just right. In His perfect wisdom and love. I’ve seen Him design the best adventures. Thanks for visiting and leaving a note. ~Katy

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