‘Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.’ Psalm 37.4
It is easy to look at the second part of this verse and go off into a few daydreams about what exactly the desires of our hearts might be! If all we have to do to achieve them is to delight in God, then the rewards seem quite generous for the sake of a little devotion! However, this verse says something different.
The link between the two parts of this verse is not that God rewards our delight by giving us our heart’s desire, but rather that, whether we know it or not, delighting in God is our heart’s desire. All too often our relationship with him can seem more like slavish obedience and law-keeping than in actually delighting in him, and yet this is what is on offer to all of us – the reality of a relationship with God that is based on delight and not law.
The relationship begins with us being able to accept that God delights in us; he is not disappointed in us, nor does he wish we were someone else – in fact he is delighted with our company. As we begin to accept this and allow a relationship with the living God to develop along these lines, then life changes as we find a companionship and friendship that touches our deepest needs.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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