“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil” (Psalm 37:3-6).
Here is a wonderful Bible promise especially for those who delight in the Lord. When He is our greatest desire, when everything else in life takes second place, and as we truly love and serve Him, then His rich blessings are showered upon us. “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee” (Psalm 84:11-12).
Delight that leads to disappointment
What we desire reveals the true motivations of our heart. Far too often our priorities are all wrong and we go headlong down paths that lead to disappointment rather than blessing. May be the desire to have this world’s goods have robbed us of the riches of God’s grace. “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition” (1 Timothy 6:9). How often we have been told that the “love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10), yet have not heeded the warning? The devil will provide temptation enough to fulfil all our desires, whereas the Lord continually warns us against setting our delight on the things of the world. “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11). If our desires are wrong, then no matter how much we try, we will never be fulfilled. The world, with all its delights, will leave us empty and disappointed.
Delighting in the Lord
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3). We clearly see that these verses express exactly the same thoughts as in our opening text, therefore in delighting in God’s word we are in fact delighting in Him. The promises are also the same, for He “will give [us] the desires of [our] heart” and “prosper” all we do.
It is in His word that we find guidance, for through it God reveals His will to us. Those who delight in the Scriptures also find His will a delight. “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8). Surely this infers the need for obedience, which is not a tiresome duty but a joyous privilege. “Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments” (Psalm 112:1) … “I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word … I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved” (Psalm 119:16, 47).
We see then that a blessed life is the result of delighting ourselves in the Lord, that is, in making Him our only focus. This delight has to include spending time in His presence and seeking His face in prayer. “Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God” (Isaiah 58:2). While it is true that we come to a deeper and fuller understanding of the Lord through reading and studying His word, we cannot do this if we are prayerless. “Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13) … “For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God” (Job 22:26).
Delighting in the Lord brings results
Those who delight in the Lord will know what it means to live a blessed life. This blessed life is not free from temptation, tribulation or torments; instead it is a life of assurance and confidence in the Lord. David tells us what we need to be doing if we truly delight in God.
Firstly, “Commit thy way unto the LORD” (Psalm 37:5). This means that we must fully submit ourselves to Him in all areas of our lives. Many Christians live a double life because they think in terms of the sacred and secular. The Bible makes no such distinction in relation to the believer’s walk, instead it reveals that followers of Christ commit themselves wholly to Him in faith. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). It is only in delighting in God in this way that His plan and purpose for us can come to completion.
Secondly, “Trust also in him” (Psalm 37:5). It is impossible to commit ourselves to the Lord unless we trust Him with all our hearts. Do we trust Him enough to obey Him? Most of us settle on working everything out for ourselves. We manipulate situations to get what we want. We desire the things the world has to offer, but how quickly they rot away once we get them. “Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes” (Haggai 1:6). Notice what happens for those who trust in the Lord: they receive the best blessings from His hands. “He shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5).
Thirdly, “Rest in the LORD” (Psalm 37:7). This is the opposite of worry and anxiety. “Fret not thyself” (Psalm 37:1). We all want that peace “which passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7), but are we willing to receive it God’s way? Unless we trust in Him, how can we find rest in Christ? Blessed rest is only found by those who are persuaded that Jesus is the answer to their every need, fear, worry and problem. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). No wonder the psalmist encourages us to “wait patiently for him” (Psalm 37:7). If we are fully dependent upon the Lord then we will never rely upon our own ability to remedy life’s ills. Waiting patiently includes the idea that we forego our own desires and are willing to accept whatever God deems good for our lives. If we really know the Lord, then we are confident that He only brings good things into our lives anyway. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
So do we truly delight in the Lord? Those who delight in the Lord are guaranteed a blessed, prosperous and abundant life. Yes, we all want what God has promised and maybe we have even quoted those promise texts to ourselves over the years, but have we ever bothered to notice the part we have to play before they can become effective in us? If we delight ourselves in the Lord we will always find that “all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us” (2 Corinthians 1:20).