Within the heart of every individual there are innate dreams and aspirations… The desire for love, acceptance, security, peace, fulfillment and joy. People not only desire these things, they pursue them – in fact, they go to great lengths to satisfy them!
The tragedy is, in their pursuit of these things they often do things that are counterproductive to those goals – they engage in things that actually rob them of the very things they pursue. They find themselves “hitting walls” in their pursuit! Instead of love and acceptance – they experience rejection. Instead of peace – they encounter anxiety. Instead of fulfillment – they face frustration. And instead of joy – anger and resentment well up within their hearts! Their pursuit of these things, regardless of how devoted, seems illusive, counter-productive, and frustrating!
In my Bible reading in Proverbs during my time of “coffee with the Lord” this week I encounter three verses of Scripture in Proverbs that diagnose this problem and offer helpful prescriptions and remedies! Here they are…
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12 NIV) In other words, don’t focus on the things that frustrate you – things that don’t turn out well. Instead celebrate the things that turn are fulfilling – things that deeply satisfy! Celebrate those things – focus on them!
Here’s another: “A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but fools detest turning from evil.” (Proverbs 13:19 NIV) Often we do the very things that are counterproductive to enjoying fulfillment, genuine joy, and deep satisfaction – sinful practices, harmful habits, and interpersonal toxins rob us of the very things we deeply desire. Tragically people often refuse to repent and turn to God for help and transformation.
One more… “Trouble pursues the sinner, but the righteous are rewarded with good things!” (Proverbs 13:21 NIV) I am convinced, that the person who in self-will pursues their own agenda, rather than God’s will for their life will inevitably experience frustration. We are not wired to live that way. The Bible declares, “The way of the transgressor is hard!” and Saul (before he was transformed by God’s grace) was told, “It is hard for you to kick against the goads (i.e. the painful things that God allows to come our way that actually are designed to nudge us toward God’s way for our lives)!”
Listen, Jesus declared, “I am come that you might have life, and have it abundantly!” (John 10:10) His way is best! Living for Him with all your heart results in the fulfillment of your deepest dreams and desires!