Asking God for Help...and Trusting the Answer
By Jason Grotelueschen
I was recently having a conversation with my kids about the idea of God “giving you what you want” if you believe, trust, and pray to Him. This is a tricky concept. It’s not uncommon for parents to emphasize the difference between “wants” and “needs” when talking with our children (and even with our fellow adults, because we all need reminders!)
After we pray, we may not always feel that our prayers have been answered in the way we expected or “wanted.” But in our short-sightedness, it’s likely that our prayers were actually answered perfectly, in just the way we “needed.” In our limited human understanding, the true answer probably sailed right over our heads.
The YouVersion devotion How Is Your Heart Today dives deeper into this concept of what we’re “giving” and “getting,” at least from our (again) very limited human comprehension.
Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
A couple of things strike me about this:
- What we’re supposed to “do” is: Delight ourselves in the Lord
- What we then hope to “get” is: The desires of our hearts
Delight ourselves in the Lord: It’s far too easy for us to claim at any given time that we’re “delighting in the Lord,” isn’t it? I’m picturing myself in this scenario as a toddler waving my hands and saying “Look at me, I’m doing it! I’m delighting in the Lord, just like you asked me to! See?!?” Can we even comprehend what “delighting” looks like?
As the devotion says, “delighting” can be loosely defined as “being dependent upon God, and deriving one’s pleasure from Him.” So, are we really doing that? Probably not. That’s a difficult posture for us to take, and we’re often too proud to take it.
This concept of “delight” is also mentioned in this week’s Hope scripture, Psalm 22, in the context of how others around us often can’t make sense of how we, as believers, give all our cares and troubles to God:
7 All who see me mock me;
they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
8 “He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him;
let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”
As a whole, Psalm 22 is about crying out to God to save us from the torments of the world around us, and then thanking him profusely for rescuing us. But again, are we whole-heartedly recognizing how that “rescue” is happening, or are we too focused on smaller things? Are we returning the favor of his “delight” in us?
The desires of our hearts: Romans 8:32 says “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”
Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for us and God did not spare him from that. When we come to God with our trials and tribulations, we can be fully confident that there’s nothing he can’t handle, and that he will give us what we need.
Again, there’s that “want” versus “need” – when we pray for the former, are we missing the fact that God is richly providing us with the latter?
As the How is Your Heart devotion summarizes, “He may not give us all of the things we want,” but he’ll undoubtedly give us “all we truly need to live a godly life on this earth full of His peace, love and joy. May you delight in Him as He delights in you!”
God has us covered, even (especially) when times are hard and we may struggle to grasp the enormity and clarity of his response. But we can be confident that he is giving us “all we truly need,” and it doesn’t get any better than that!