The life of Paul gives us many remarkably inspiring examples of finding contentment in God’s grace.
“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain … For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.”
Despite his many unfulfilled desires, Paul embodied the unparalleled strength of Christ that enabled him to persevere and discover God’s presence and His purposes. Paul is a man who has believed in Christ … who has desired and delighted in the promises of God.
“Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
We serve a God who yearns for us to discover His presence and His purposes for our lives as well … even in the midst of our unfulfilled desires. When all of our desires are focused on Him, He will manage them in such a way that in due season, they will be satisfied. I believe this and similar verses (Psalm 1:2, Psalm 35:9 and Psalm 35:27) are often misinterpreted as quick fixes … turn the key solutions to our trials. Delighting ourselves in the Lord is an all-consuming, day by day quest to being all of our desires into that one great desire.
When I began to truly delight myself in the Lord, I realized that God had indeed been honoring my desires for connection. He had taken my imperfect embrace of the relationships around me and transformed them into a meaningful, heartfelt relationships … filled with unconditional love, compassion, humility and accountability.
“The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.”
Regardless of the situation … whether it’s at work, at the bookstore, at the grocery, a social gathering, communing online with others, etc. … our mindset needs to be focused on God and reciprocating with what He has so graciously given us.
“As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”
When we have this focus, we realize God has given us the authority to sharpen and the desire to be sharpened. We relax and discover that the essence of our God-given desires are indeed being fulfilled.