Back home we used to say, “Our God might not give us what we want but He (sho-nuff) sure enough give us what we need.” I personally didn’t agree with that statement when I was younger, not really because I wanted what I wanted and was very disappointed when I didn’t receive it. That feeling of disappointment does not sit quite well with most children. Most children experienced similar disappointments during their youth, but thankfully we have both heavenly and earthly parents that are willing to put up with us. They hold out hope for their child to finally come around and start acting as they belong.
Most earthly parents will spoil their children whenever possible. If the child had a special birthday or Christmas wish list their parents would do all they could to answer those wishes. Even if the parent was not able to provide for the child the parents would help them understand that you don’t always get what you want in life. “Where there is a will there is a way.” It is through these early experiences that children learn a valuable life lesson about how to process disappointment. Though they “hemmed and hawed,” they learned to get over it.
When you grow older in life it becomes even clearer that we don’t always get what we want. There are a number of factors that cause this, some you control and some not. It could be a lack of resources, abilities, availabilities, and the like. When you are the ones responsible for providing that is when reality hits you. This does not keep us from wanting things that we can’t afford but we realize that life has limits beyond our desires. From a humanistic point of view that becomes clear. It is not all that different from a godly perspective either.
God knows the desires of our hearts. He knows our wants and needs. Even though our hearts might be stuck on what we hope to achieve, God looks ahead and determines what is needed. In our defiance, there are times when we evade God because we put our desires ahead of His. We want things that appeal to our fleshly desires. God wants things that edify the soul. The two are usually diametrically opposite! Obviously, our desires toward sinful things are far from what God endorses. However, if we are stubborn and persistent, we might find a way to get those wrong things that we want. Even though there will be a price to pay later, at the time you only see what you want. Once you get it then it makes you feel good in the moment. Thanks for the grace of God we are not always rewarded what we are due. Ps 103:10. God doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
As I’m writing this essay, I’m looking back over seventy-plus years. I distinctly remember being on the short side of wisdom while young. I was disobedient, defiant, stubborn, and just plain ignorant. Even though I knew the difference between right and wrong I only saw the things I desired. I was not all that interested in fulfilling God’s desires. I wasn’t prepared to surrender until I had my fill. Therefore I know that I deserve to be punished for going against God. I deserved any and everything He decided to do with me. But again, God is merciful and slow to anger as was previously stated. Psalms 103: 7-10 states:
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities.”
This passage of scripture puts a totally different spin on what we want compared to what we need. Perhaps this is because God knows what is coming down the pathway of our lives. In that sense He allows us to learn from our own defiance and disobedience. If He treated us as we treated Him, we would be in a world of trouble. It is with God’s foreknowledge of us that I craft this essay. God doesn’t always give us what we want but He always gives us what we need.
There are times when we need to be disappointed and not receive things that God knows will corrupt our souls. There are other times when He allows us to have things that are not good because when our hearts are ready, we will realize the error of our ways and turn and face Him. There may be even times when He allows us to get what we want just to receive the glory that He so rightfully deserves, even when we don’t give Him the glory. He still sits back as a proud Father teaching us the ways of righteousness for His namesake. To God, it is not as much about being angry with His children but more about teaching them. That is the power of God, the purpose of God, and the relationship He wants to have with us. But, do we truly recognize what God is offering? By our acts and deeds, it does not appear to be so.
This brings me to an important follow-up question, what’s in it for you? I make no secret about where I stand regarding my faith and my practice. I do this because I have been convinced about the truth of the matter. I believe in almighty God, I believe in His Son, and I believe that in the beginning, before the creation of the universe God was there with His Son who was given the power to create all things. The source of my understanding was written in the book of John the first few verses.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was at the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him, nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1: 1-5
My reliance upon scripture is also another thing that people tend to question. If you do not accept the authority of the Holy Scriptures, the Word, then you probably don’t accept God’s authority, His Son, or the Holy Spirit. There would be no evidence or proof that I could offer to convince you otherwise without faith. But, if your desire is to find and know the truth, this is not about me, my point of view, my mission, or nothing I could offer. I offer you something to consider. If you reject my offering, then ask God to lead you to where you might find what you are seeking. If it is God’s truth you cannot be denied.
Again, God might not give us what we want in the form that we hoped to receive it, but He will always give us what we need. If this message leads you to a path where you can find and get to know God, I consider that pure joy. All the angels in heaven rejoice when even one soul is returned to the body of God. That is just how much He loves His creation and works all things for the good of those who love Him. Selah!