The Desires of His Heart
Jennifer Erin Valent, She Reads Featured Author

"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4 (NIV)

When I was young, my girlfriends and I used to play a game where we would choose different ideals we had for our lives, from whom we wanted to marry, to what car we wanted to drive. Life seemed so simple then! In just one short game, I could plan my life out from start to finish. Funny thing is, I never did marry Johnny Depp, I don't live in a mansion, and I don't drive a Porsche.

Well, I was young, and it's certainly a blessing that I didn't end up having to live out the life I planned for myself then. But what about now? As an adult, I've had plenty of dreams for my life. I think I'm pretty intuitive about myself, and I've got a good idea how I think things should go. And since Scripture says the Lord will give us the desires of our hearts, shouldn't these things be coming to pass?

Maybe not. The Lord knows a whole lot more than we give Him credit for, and maybe what He has planned for our lives doesn't match up with what we have planned.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'" (NIV).

What a promise! In just a few words, this verse tells us how much God loves us and how much He wants to bless our lives. He wants our short walk on this earth to be worth so much! But then, what about those desires of our hearts? Where do they fit in?

The Hebrew definition of the word delight in Psalm 37:4 is interesting; it involves the idea of being soft and pliable. Makes me think of clay. I've used small blocks of clay before, and in order to be able to work with one, I need to hold in it my hands and get it warm and soft, ready to be formed into the shape I intend for it to be. Sound familiar? "Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand" (Isaiah 64:8, NIV).

As the Potter forms us, we begin to know Him more. His thoughts become our thoughts. That's when God does more than grant us the desires of our hearts; He actually provides us with those very desires. We no longer want what we want, we want what He wants. And it is most certain that whatever the Lord wishes to bring to pass in our lives, He also desires to freely give us.

We're so often caught up in our own ideas that we forget to listen to His. What a difference it would make if we had God's best intentions at heart. If we could just step out in faith that our Father wants our very best, and that of all things on this earth, we could never have better than what He gives. What peace that would bring to us all. What delight that would bring to our Lord.

And what gifts that would place at our feet when He both provides and fulfills the desires of our hearts!

Dear Lord, help me to see how much You love me and how much You want for me. Take my heart in Your hand and fashion it after Your own heart so that I will know the beauty of what You desire for my life. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Fireflies in December a novel by Jennifer Erin Valent. This book is a current She Reads selection – visit the site to learn more about the novel and its author.

Follow this link to P31’s She Reads and enter today’s giveaway:

One grand prize winner will receive the first two novels in this series by Jennifer Erin Valent – Fireflies in December and Cottonwood Whispers—as well as two beautiful hard-cover devotional books: The Daily God Book: Words of Wisdom, and The Daily God Book: A Year of Listening to God.

Plus, a second runner up will win both of Jennifer’s novels, and a third runner up will win Fireflies in December, the first book in the series.

Shaped with Purpose CD and companion Workbook by Renee Swope

What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst

Application Steps:
Make a point of counting your blessings daily. When we focus on God's many blessings, we see more and more how much He loves us and how many good things He gives us.

Scripture is full of God's promises to us. Search for them and remember them! God's unchanging nature and unfailing love are the cornerstones of faith. If He said it, He meant it, and those promises are a reassuring haven when life seems out of control.

Which of God's promises will remind me during today's particular challenges that I can trust the Lord with my future?

In what ways has the Lord blessed me already today?

Power Verses:
Ephesians 1:3, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ." (NIV)

Luke 12:6-7, "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." (NIV)

© 2010 by Jennifer Erin Valent. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In what ways has the Lord blessed me already today?"

I woke up this morning!


Blogger Beth said...

I have been struggling with this EXACT thing. I feel like this devotional was for me. I had a blog post on my heart today about how I feel like God gives me desires in my heart for things (not material), but I feel like God never allows me to obtain them. It's been a serious struggled between God and me. I chose not to write it. And then this devotional came through and now I'm in tears. I needed to read this. Thank you for being a vessel for the Holy Spirit to me.

Blogger DeDe said...

This verse, Psalm 37:4 has been a favorite of mine for a long time. It gained even greater value to me when I learned that the word "give" as in "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will GIVE you the desires of your heart," means "to show, to implant, to make new"...

I had always thought I'd just go ahead and get what I was hoping for...and as the devotional author states, it's a good thing we DON'T get everything WE wish for, since God always has a better plan!

I hope this encourages others to realize that "delighting" does indeed require that we submit and surrender our desires, and then as He shows us what He desires for us, our will finally lines up with His will, and we know He always gets what He desires. Awesome, eh?

Praise Him for His wondrous love!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just had to step out on faith today and trust that His plans for my son(sending him to school) were better than mine(homeschooling).

It's one of the hardest things that I have done, but I enrolled him today trusting that this is the best plan for my son's life and mine.

thank you for this timely post

Blogger Jennifer Valent said...

Thank you, ladies! It's a blessing to be able to share with you. Praying you all feel His great love for you!

Beth, it's quite a journey figuring out who God is and how He works in our lives, but there's no journey more worth taking.

DeDe, He truly is an amazing God!

Jo, I pray that in whatever the Lord leads you to do, you'll have His peace that passes all understanding.

Blogger krinny said...

Wow, this is what I needed. Late last night our parked car of all things was hit and totaled. That car we needed and it is woth so much more to us thatn its worth. I keep asking God why why, you knew we needed it, but He has His plans for my future, He knows what He is doing, He is in control, and I am reminded to count my blessings, I have much else to be thankful for, Thank you and God bless:)

Anonymous Jessica said...

So true... we all have so much to be thankful for. Thank you for allowing God's words to flow through you. I am grateful to have read this today. I felt a tugging at my heart, and knew I had to read the devotion for today! I'm so glad I chose to listen!

Anonymous Kelli said...


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