A Perfect Peace

Psalm 37:4 (ESV)
“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

One of the main reasons for the troubled restlessness of life today is not so much of the world around us, but rather the turbulence within us. It is our own undisciplined desires that are born from within that strive against peace. Instead of external influences, it is our own heart that creates a sense of restlessness and dissatisfaction—often stemming from unrequited desire. When we long for those things that we do not have, peace can never be ours.

It is natural to dream about getting something nice for yourself or a loved one; but when this dream becomes a dominant force in our daily lives, we become enslaved to its requisition. Whether it is a person, place, or thing, such a behavior puts us at the mercy of external circumstances, places this object as master in our lives, and extinguishes any hope of contentment.

Jesus warned us of the perils of putting earthly treasures over the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:21; 33; John 6:27); for all of these things must pass away along with the heart that clings to them. Billy Graham once said, “I’ve never seen a hearse towing a U-Haul”, a simple reminder that all of the effort we put in to acquiring earthly treasures will one day mean nothing.

The restlessness we feel we must satisfy through acquiring possessions is rooted in false promises. The satisfaction we have is fleeting at best. Harken back to the days of childhood when you opened up the new toys at Christmas—the utter excitement of having a toy you longed for—only to hardly play with it again after a few days. Most of us don’t outgrow this—only the toys change.

Much like drug addiction, the appetite for more will increase because the fulfillment we think we will get remains afar. Only when we recognize that the desire we are hoping to fulfill cannot be found in earthly possessions, are we on our way to finding peace.

Peace can only be found in a life that is centered on God. So how do we do this? In the first part of this verse lies the answer: “Delight yourself in the LORD!” Here is the answer—the cure—for the unrest of desires unfulfilled. In Him, we will find the blessed quietness our heart so longs for!

In our Savior, desire and fulfillment go together, bringing a peace that truly surpasses anything we can imagine (Philippians 4:7). But this fulfillment comes at a cost. We must relinquish our own desires for what we think we need best and allow Him to rule our hearts and thus our desires. If we can take this step of faith, He will faithfully supply all of our needs (Philippians 4:19) and we will truly know peace.

The promise we have in Scripture goes way beyond our physical needs, for God Himself is the heart’s desire for all those who “delight” in Him. When we truly have a yearning for our Father, all other interests are then put in their proper place.

And this is the key to overcoming any unwanted behavior in your life. Place your heart’s desire for God first in your life, and peace will abound. Let these very words of Christ draw you nearer to Him and to the peace He offers: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30).