Not Desiring a No

There it was, on my Facebook wall, an anguished cry from the heart of a friend “Why won’t God give me the desire of my heart?” I can totally relate to that and I’m sure you can too.

Psalm 37:4 promises us that God will give us the desires of our heart. As I’ve noticed this verse being freely thrown around Christian circles in the last few years it’s almost like we have come to assume that it’s our right to have God give us the desires of our heart.

I’ve yet to meet anyone who admits to having received all the desires of the heart so I am sure that most people, like me, have some desires hidden in their hearts.

Have you ever considered why God may not give us the desires of our hearts? I have. Here are my thoughts.

  • God’s promises come with a condition. In Psalm 37:4 we often latch onto the “give us the desires of our heart” – the promise and don’t give any thought to the condition – “delight yourself in the Lord”. That “and” in between the two parts is critical. You won’t get one without the other.

“For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:36

Hebrews 10:36 is a verse God sent me to in my search for the answer to this question and in it I see:

  • “For you have need of endurance” – sometimes God doesn’t give us the things we ask for because we’re not ready. This can be hard to swallow because we want what we want now. Maybe we need endurance, or to grow, or healing, or a deepening of our faith, or something else. It’s not a “No” from God, it’s a “Not yet.”
  • “So that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise” – sometimes there are things God wants us to do first. This can be any number of things from finishing your education, raising your children, serving Him where you are now, completing one mission before starting another.
  • “After” – sometimes the time is not right. Even if we are ready and have fulfilled our side, God’s timing is just not right. That’s where faith comes in. We need to trust His timing, knowing it’s perfect, not our own.

These are my thoughts on why God doesn’t always give us the desires of our hearts when we expect them.

Do you agree? Do you have any other ideas to add? Share yours in the comments below.

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10 thoughts on “Not Desiring a No

  1. Yep, it IS hard to wait for what God wants in our lives, but the wait is worth it when you consider all the mistakes we make when we act like little children and say “Me do it” hmmnn……..

  2. I agree,
    Sometimes we get so bogged down in our own situation and circumstances that we loose sight of the big picture (what God sees). All will be revealed in His time and though that is one of the hardest things to hear there are times we need to be reminded of it.

  3. I have also found that what I thought were the desires of my heart ended up being not the desires of my heart with God involved, but the desires with the world involved. He most certainly knows best and it comes back to trusting in Him, 100%, not 99.9% and putting our lives in His hands.

  4. I wonder if we miss read what ‘the desires of our heart’ actually are. The rest of the psalm talks about not envying the wicked (v1) and how God will not let the wicked flourish but will provide for his people. Then in v31 he says ‘The instruction of his God is in his heart’.

    Perhaps when we trust in the Lord the desires of our heart become like His desires, for us to live His way and to see evil in the world defeated. This is what God will give us and everything else is ultimately insignificant compared to God’s great plan to redeem us and restore the world!

    • That is so true Bec! God’s desires for us, and for the world, are so much more significant than anything we can desire for ourselves. Thanks for bringing these scriptures to the conversation 🙂

  5. This encourages me to remember perspective – God’s perspective.
    What I think I want and need and ‘desire’ is from my viewpoint and understanding. We need to remember God is bigger than our understanding and in a greater sense ‘see’s the bigger picture’.
    He knows what’s best, He knows which timing and He knows the true motivation of my heart.
    I need to greet a no by removing my perspective and seeking God for His.

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