– Psalm 37:4
When King David wrote this psalm, he knew a lot about fearing enemies, as King Saul hunted him down relentlessly in order to kill him. But God’s providence ensured that David had nothing to fear, as he wrote, “Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb” (Psalm 37:1-2). It wasn’t long after this that David was declared king. Therefore, he could say from experience that we should “trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness” (Psalm 37:3). When a person really trusts God, their fear will disappear, even in the storms of life. They will learn to praise God even in the storms and even while not knowing when the storm will end.
When we are brought to repentance and faith in Christ, we are committing ourselves to Christ as our Head. He alone is over us in all things. After we have learned to trust in God, we can commit our lives to Him in service of love and sacrificial giving of our time, talents, and treasures for His glory. David ties in our trust with our commitment, as he writes, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act” (Psalm 37:5). And just how will God act if we commit to Him in trust? “He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday” (Psalm 37:6). What we must do is trust Him and be committed to Him. When we do He ensures us that justice will come, and He will grant us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4).
When David wrote this psalm, he emphasized that we must not fear God but trust Him and commit our ways to Him, as revealed in Scripture: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). What does it mean to delight in the Lord? Imagine how children feel on Christmas morning. They are delighted the day has finally arrived. They are delighted in knowing they have so many presents to unwrap. They delight in knowing that on this very special day, a day like no other, they are celebrating the birth of the Savior, even though we don’t precisely know what day Jesus was born. It doesn’t matter. My late mother never knew her exact birthday because her parents never celebrated birthdays. All she knew was she was born in February. The point is, if we delight in the Lord–and this means we are consumed with pleasing Him–God will “give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). Whatever that desire is, you must first delight in God and all of His ways. Only then will God grant you the desires of your heart.
So far, we know we should be trusting God and we should be committed to Him. If we are then we will delight in the Lord and He will grant us the desires of our hearts. However, we don’t know when those desires will be granted by God. So God tells us through the psalmist, “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices” (Psalm 37:7). If we are trusting, committed, and delighted in Him, then we must be patient, as God works in ways we can’t even see. If we have done all these things, then we can “refrain from anger, and forsake wrath” because “it tends only to evil” (Psalm 37:8). The anger of man never works righteousness like the righteous indignation of God does. We must leave vengeance to God, “refrain from anger and forsake wrath,” and leave it up to God because “the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land” (Psalm 37:9).
God has set a day when He will judge the world in righteousness. We must learn to trust God with this and not take matters into our own hands. The psalmist writes, “In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there” (Psalm 37:10), and “the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace” (Psalm 37:11). God alone “knows the days of the blameless, and their heritage will remain forever” (Psalm 37:18) and that they will “not put to shame in evil times; in the days of famine they have abundance” (Psalm 37:19).
We know the Bible teaches us that God will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) and that “the steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way” (Psalm 37:23). Even “though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand” (Psalm 37:24). David has lived long enough to know that he’s “been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread” (Psalm 37:25) and “is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing” (Psalm 37:26). Our responsibility is to “turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever” (Psalm 37:27).
To summarize what it means to receive the desires of our hearts, we must trust in God at all times; we must commit our way to the Lord; we must not seek revenge but leave it up to God. Only then, if our delight is truly in the Lord, He will grant us the desires of our hearts. However, we must to be patient while waiting to receive these desires. But the Lord God is always good and never does anything that will not be for our ultimate best (Romans 8:28).