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A Longing Unfulfilled



Over the years, I have slowly been filled with a longing for something. The thing I have been longing for is something everyone would view as good or pure. Recently, discouragement started to set in as that desire has continued to be unfulfilled.


Have you ever longed for God to give you something good and yet God continues to say either "no" or "wait"?


Maybe you are longing for:

  • healing (for you or for a loved one)

  • your loved one who is lost to come home

  • a spouse

  • a deep friendship

  • a child

  • that dream job

  • that high-level promotion

  • financial freedom

  • a house, car, etc.


Whatever you might be longing for, do you ever feel discouraged, sad or tired in the waiting?


What Do We Do?


Make Sure Our Longing for God Is Always #1


Let us first ensure that whatever our desire may be (no matter how good or pure it may seem), it does not take priority over our love for and relationship with God.


When our desire for something starts to compete with our love for God, no matter how good that thing seems, it starts to become our idol (Colossians 3:5).


We must love and seek our Lord with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. That must be number one in our lives always.

Deuteronomy 6:4-7

"Love the Lord your God

with all your heart and

with all your soul and with all your strength."

1 Chronicles 16:11

"Seek the Lord and his strength;

seek his presence continually!"

Matthew 6:33

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,

and all these things will be added to you."


So let us ask ourselves, is this desire getting in the way of my longing for God?


Remember That Christ Is Enough


At the end of the day, Christ alone is enough for us (John 14:8-9).


Philippians 4:11-13

"I am not saying this because I am in need,

for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.

I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,

whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength."


We do not need anything else to give us value, to define us, fulfill us, shape us, strengthen us, bring us joy or take care of us.


Christ is enough.

He has promised that when we fully trust in Him, He will provide everything that we need in its appropriate time. And He has a better understanding of our needs than we ever could.


2 Corinthians 9:8

"And God is able to bless you abundantly,

so that in all things at all times,

having all that you need,

you will abound in every good work."


Philippians 4:19

"And my God will meet all your needs

according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus."


When we cling too tightly to a desire (where it threatens to overtake our desire for God),

we are essentially telling God,


"Lord, you are not enough for me.

I need more than you, in order to live.

I need something else as well, in order to feel fulfilled and have joy".


When really, at the end of the day, all we truly need is Him.


When we love and seek Him wholeheartedly with all that we have, we are truly trusting that Christ is enough for us. We are trusting that He shall supply everything that we truly need. Not everything that we think we need but everything that He knows we need.


So let us ask ourselves, do we really believe that Christ alone is enough for us?


What Is God Trying To Teach Us In This Season?


Let us also try to lean into this period of waiting and not just try to rush through it. Let us not just sit idly by, praying solely for the wait to be over.


Instead, let us first praise Him through all of it (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).


Let us then ask God what He wants us to learn from this time of waiting.


James 1:5

"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you."


Our God does not waste any experience. If we are in a season of waiting, it might be because He wants to teach us something in this period.


James 1:2-4

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,

whenever you face trials of many kinds,

because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete,

not lacking anything."


So instead of rushing through, let us draw near to our Savior and ask Him exactly what He wants to teach us through this season.


I know for me personally, God showed me that my longing, while good, was still trying to take precedence over having God be number one in my life. My desire, if granted right now, would become a distraction for me in my walk with Him. So in this season, He wanted to take out distractions and potential idols from my life so that He can teach me to seek Him first. As I realized the lesson He wants me to learn, oh what joy filled my soul. As I walk through this season, although it is still hard in some moments, I am now also filled with joy because I trust and rest in the knowledge that what He is doing within me is greater, richer, deeper and has far more of a lasting eternal impact compared to me simply receiving my other desire.


Friend, I don't know the purpose behind your waiting. But God knows. And when we ask Him to mold us and teach us in our current season, I know He will answer us because He is waiting for us to lean on Him.


Psalm 32:8

"I will instruct you and

teach you in the way you should go;

I will counsel you with my loving eye on you."


Proverbs 4:11  

"I instruct you in the way of wisdom and

lead you along straight paths."


Also remember this dear promise -


Psalm 84:11

"...no good thing does He withhold

from those whose walk is blameless."


Friend, God loves us so much and only wants what is good for us. So if there is something good that we are not getting, it is only because He has something better in store for us. He has promised this to His children who walk obediently with Him. 


In my life with this one particular longing, the better that He is giving me, is the opportunity to learn to put Him first above all else in my life. While He has promised to fulfil that other desire, He has made it clear that it will not be in this season and that it will come in its own time. I trust His timing and I rest in Him knowing that He knows what is best for me. In the meantime, I am focusing on ensuring that He is always my number one desire and I am leaning heavily into the invaluable eternal lessons that He is teaching me in this season.


And every time those hard discouraging moments pop up again, I force the thoughts of my mind to fix the eyes of my soul on Christ. Whether it is saying a verse out loud over and over again, or turning on a song of praise and forcing my heart to sing even when it doesn't feel like it, or pausing and praying a simple yet powerful prayer of, "Lord, help me. I am struggling. I need you. Please help me."


Now, there are plenty of times I fail and do not do what I know I ought to do. So instead I end up sitting in a pool of sad thoughts. But I can tell you, whenever we seek His help with a sincere heart, He never ever fails us (Jeremiah 29:13).


Psalm 73:23-26

"Yet I am always with you;

    you hold me by my right hand.

You guide me with your counsel,

    and afterward you will take me into glory.

Whom have I in heaven but you?

    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

My flesh and my heart may fail,

    but God is the strength of my heart

    and my portion forever."


Dear friend, when those thoughts of discouragement start to set in, let us turn our thoughts upward instead of inward and let us fix our eyes on Him alone (Colossians 3:2).


With everything we might have going on around us, it might seem impossible right now to fix our eyes on Him, but friend, He is our only real hope. Our only lasting joy. Our only deep strength. Whatever we desperately think we need, friend, He is our deepest need and nothing else can satisfy. He is our everything and without Him we are absolutely nothing.


I don't know what He is trying to teach you in this season. But I do know our God is good, loving, faithful and trustworthy (Psalm 119:68).


He has eternity in mind and wants what is eternally best for us, not just what is momentarily good.

So let us ask Him what He wants us to learn right now. I promise you He has beauty in store for us, for His glory and our good, with eternity in mind. So let us seek Him, listen to Him, trust Him and obey.


Hebrews 11:13-16

"All these people were still living by faith when they died.

They did not receive the things promised;

they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance,

admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.

People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.

If they had been thinking of the country they had left,

they would have had opportunity to return.

Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one.

Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God,

for he has prepared a city for them."


Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,

“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,

plans to give you hope and a future."


The Good Shepherd Who Gives Us All That We Need And Nothing That We Don't


Psalm 23:1

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want."


The Matthew Henry's Commentary describes the above verse this way -


"More is implied than is expressed, not only, I shall not want, but, "I shall be supplied with whatever I need; and, if I have not everything I desire, I may conclude it is either not fit for me or not good for me or I shall have it in due time.""

Wow. Let us read that again and let this truth sink deeply into our souls.


[God is my good shepherd who knows what is absolutely best for me, so,]

"if I have not everything I desire,

I may conclude it is either not fit for me

or not good for me or I shall have it in due time."


Wow.


Friend, let us keep holding on to Him, loving Him with all that is within us, trusting Him and obeying Him. Let us not lose hope. Let us instead fix our eyes on Him and surrender to the work He wants to do in our lives. Our God is so good.


Hebrews 12:1-3

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,

let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

For the joy set before him he endured the cross,

scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners,

so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."


 

Psalm 62:5-12

"Let all that I am wait quietly before God,

for my hope is in him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation,

my fortress where I will not be shaken.

My victory and honor come from God alone.

He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.

O my people, trust in him at all times.

Pour out your heart to him,

for God is our refuge."


Psalm 107:8-9

"Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,

for his wondrous works to the children of man!

For he satisfies the longing soul,

and the hungry soul he fills with good things."


 

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