Delight Yourself in the Lord

written by Rachel Vradenburgh

Delight thyself also in the LORD: and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Psalm 37:4

This verse puzzled me for a long time.

What exactly is “delighting” in the Lord?

And if I’m delighting in the Lord, then will all my desires be fulfilled?

Will I be guaranteed good health, financial freedom, a loving family—in essence, a perfect life?

Or maybe if I’m delighting in the Lord, that means there’s a list of things that I won’t have—like trials of illness, loss, and pain.

Taking this verse stand-alone sounds a lot like “name it, claim it” theology, and we know that type of false teaching doesn’t square with the Bible.

So what does Psalm 37:4 really say?

As with all Scripture, a verse must be examined in the context surrounding it—and there’s a lot here. We find other commands like fret not because of evil doers, don’t be envious, trust in the Lord, do good, commit your way to the Lord, rest in the Lord, wait for Him, cease from anger

Wow. Is all that part of delighting in the Lord?

Yes. It is.

When my first husband was sick, I remember praying for God to heal him. But that wasn’t God’s will, and he died at 34 years old (I was 32). It was a very difficult path of wondering why God didn’t love me enough to give me a marriage and family like my friends had. How much easier it was to bathe in jealousy and anger than to delight in God.

Fast forward nine years.

After a lot of healing and a restored craving to delight in the Lord, God fulfilled so many of my heart’s desires when He gave me the gift of a loving and godly second husband, additional children, a gaggle of precious grandchildren, and the opportunity to serve Him in a full-time capacity—which had also been a heart’s desire.

He always fulfills the promises in His Word.

So how do we delight in the Lord?

Think about other things that delight you. It may be a special person, a favorite hobby, or even a certain food—like chocolate or ice cream!

What emotions do you have about those things? Joy, contentment, pleasant thoughts, a yearning for it, that can’t get enough of and overwhelmed with how good it is feeling.

The same is true when we delight in the Lord.

We can’t wait to spend time with Him and find our greatest joy being in His presence. We don’t fret about things we can’t control or doubt His love, knowing that He is using us to accomplish a masterplan that will bring Him glory.

Reading further into this Psalm, we find clarification in verse 23 which says,

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and he [the man] delighteth in His [the LORD’s] way.

Psalm 37:23

Ah – eureka!

Why do we delight?

We delight because we know, and accept, that God is going before us and nothing happens to His children that isn’t first filtered through His loving hands.

We may not understand circumstances, but He is going to give us peace in the midst of storms, and guidance when we’re confused IF we are seeking (delighting) in Him—not what He can do for us—but the person of our loving Father and most high God. When that happens and we see God for who He is, it causes us to have joy in our relationship with Him, and we find we want nothing more than His will for our lives. He modifies our desires so they align with His plan.

Footnote to the above story: I remember having zero interest in remarrying, especially to a pastor, but as I delighted more in the Lord and it was time for my desires to change, He did so. And thus, God fulfilled the desires of my heart because they were His desires too.

If you are struggling to delight in the Lord today, encourage yourself with verse 24 from this Psalm,

Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholdeth him with His hand.

Psalm 37:24

You are held in God’s hand, and He is patiently waiting for you to trust, commit, rest, cease from anger—and find your delight in Him alone.

Come join us!

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About Friendship Baptist Church

Our purpose is to make much of our Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel through the preaching of His Word and the making of disciples. At Friendship Baptist Church (FBC) we teach the Bible in order to facilitate spiritual growth in all of God’s people and to provide opportunities for Christian fellowship. God has graciously used Friendship to further His work both locally and across the globe since 1965.