Does God Really Give Us the Desires of Our Heart?

Foster Care & Family

I’ve gone back and forth with this question, for the past twenty years. No joke. I think it’s normal for us to wonder if God really gives us the desires of our heart. After all, some of us are spending years and years waiting for the desires of our heart. While others may be dealing with a devastating loss that hurts a thousand times more. And yet, there’s so many bible verses that state it loud and clear. God must have known that we would wrestle with the answer to this question throughout our lives. 

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a mommy. I truly believe it was an extraordinary desire of my heart because I always gravitated (still do) to children. As much as I’m tempted to ignore it, or deny it, I know that God gave me a heart for children. For good reason. 

I recall playing house and praying (even as a child, myself) for my own children, someday. I grew up. Went to college. And, became a teacher, because of the obvious. Every day, I would dream about having a husband that loved me, a place to call home, and a family. It’s really all I ever wanted. 

I was rather disappointed that I couldn’t find Mr. Right, in college. I ended up rushing to get married, in my early twenties. We bought a house. But, so much just wasn’t right. A family didn’t come. I couldn’t understand why things were so upside down, when I believed my heart wanted the right things. In just a few years, that marriage ended, the house was sold. And, I was back to square one.

I moved forward in my career, and was doing quite well. I had my own place. For a while there, I believed I had everything in my control. But, it was still there. The desires of my heart. I wanted a marriage. A home. And, a family. 

I met Scott in my mid thirties. He and I eloped after just eight months of dating. I knew he was the one. Without a shadow of a doubt. In spite of a rocky start, I will say that my marriage is the greatest blessing and answer to prayer, in my life. God fulfilled this desire of my heart. I don’t ever want to take this for granted. 

It took us six years before buying a home, together. I was rather content living in a one bedroom apartment. But, Scott and I were ready to start a family. God provided a home that was as extraordinary as you can imagine! A 200-year-old, three story, historic home in the center of a beautiful town. You can read all about our home renovation, which took a little over a year. 

In almost five years of living in our oversized home, we’ve moved the furniture around, in our spare bedrooms, several times. We had a few foster babies that came and went. Baby Blue, our current foster baby boy, is soon to be ten months old. His situation does not look like he will be reunified to his Bio Family. It’s bittersweet, because by this point, Blue is bonded to us. Scott and I hope and believe we will be adopting him.

Baby Blue

I need to stop here and share a few things.

God granted me the desire of my heart in giving me Scott. He gave me a home. But, unless and until this process with Baby Blue is finalized, I still desire to have my own child. 

You may already know about what happened with Baby Banana. Our first foster baby girl that we raised for two years. I recall telling my mom that if we were to adopt her, “I’d have everything my heart desired.” It honestly frightened me. I felt unworthy. So, naturally, when things began to go south, and her Bio Family pursued her reunification (after she was 15 months old), my heart broke. I was left asking, “Does God really give us the desires of our heart?”

Baby Banana

This is where it gets difficult to even put into words. I loved Baby Banana more than words can ever describe. When I lost her, it completely devastated me. There is not a single day that goes by that I don’t think of her, long for her, miss her, cry for her, and pray for her. Unless you’ve raised a child for that duration and lost that child, you may never understand the feelings that prevail. The doubts that come flooding into your heart. It’s earth shattering. And, it can seriously change your faith and your relationship with God. 

If you let it.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’ve questioned God over this. More times than I care to admit. “God, why!? Why would you bring this beautiful baby girl into my life, only to remove her, forever? Why couldn’t her Bio Family have been more sensitive to the hardship she (and we) had to endure? Why did you allow it to happen? The way it did. At the time of her life that it did. Why did you allow her to suffer. For me to watch all of that. To feel so worthless and helpless. I couldn’t do anything to ease her suffering. Why did you even bring her into my life in the first place?”

Does God really give us the desires of our heart?

Oh, this didn’t feel that way. This felt like an evil trick. Could it be the enemy trying to cause me to doubt God’s promise?

Where am I going with this?

I think you can relate. In some shape or form. In another way, perhaps. You have been there. You know what it feels like to wait for the desire(s) of your heart. You know what it feels like when it gets taken from you. You know what it feels like to doubt God’s promises.

Does God Really Give Us the Desires of Our Heart?

The answer is YES. Yes. Yes. A thousand times, YES!

Because He said so. Because He created us. Because he shaped our hearts., and planted those desires in the first place. Because He loves us! 

It’s certainly tempting to reject this. Especially after we feel robbed of those desires. But, whether we accept this truth or not, it does not change the truth.

Let’s go deeper by observing scripture that supports FIVE indisputable truths…

1.) God knows us better than we know ourselves. 

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139: 13-16

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16

It’s true! Sometimes, we may feel that we know what the desires of our hearts are. But, guess what? God knows our hearts the most. Not saying that we are wrong in the interpretation of these desires. But, it is possible, that we may be overlooking something or missing something. The first step in BELIEVING that God does give us the desires of our hearts is to acknowledge that God created us and created those desires. 

2.) God wants us to TRUST Him.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4

In hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began. Titus 1:2

And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10

The greatest temptation, when our feelings take hold of us, is to lose trust in God. His love for us. His word. His perfect will for our lives. But, it’s sin to reject God’s commandments and deny what He says! No matter what our circumstances look like, God wants us to trust him. 

3.) God understands our pain, our loss, our sufferings more than we know.

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 2 Timothy 3:13

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. Revelation 21:4

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit. 1 Peter 3;18

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. … 1 Peter 4:12-19

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. Psalm 34:19

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. Romans 5:3-4

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Isaiah 43:2

When we suffer, we are tempted to feel abandoned by God. Sometimes, we feel that He cannot understand. Believe me, I’ve been angry at God for allowing me to suffer! Even saying awful things like, “You don’t know what this feels like!”. Oh, how terribly wrong I was. God knows suffering. He gave up His only son for our sins. (John 3:16) How can we even question his compassion?

As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. James 5:10-11

There is a reason why God allows us to suffer. Ultimately, it is for His perfect will. He sees the greater picture. He has an aerial view of not only our future, but all of His children’s futures. He is working everything together in a way we cannot understand. But, we can’t allow ourselves to believe, for even one minute, that God does not understand our suffering. Nor that He is not compassionate, merciful, and kind. Our suffering can bring us to a place of victory that we may not even comprehend. We can’t limit what God is doing. 
Yes, even through our suffering. 

4.) God’s plan for our lives is PERFECT.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

No matter what our circumstances look like, God has this perfect plan for us. It’s never too late to put our trust in Him. It may seem like there’s no hope, but God wants nothing more than to give us everything He has planned. And, it’s a PERFECT plan.

5.) God’s ultimate objective is to conform us into the image of Jesus. 

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2

And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Colossians 3:10

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Romans 8:29

As much as God wants to give us everything we may interpret to be our heart’s desires, it’s not His number one objective. Ultimately, God wants to adopt us as His children and therefore conform us to His image. It’s an interesting perspective that we can sometimes distort. We need to acknowledge that God is constantly at work in us. Like a parent disciplines her child. Even though He does not change, we are changing. Hopefully for the better, as that is His will for us. 
Here is an illustration:
Sometimes, we deny our own children something they want. (Maybe it’s something small such as a toy at the supermarket. Or, something big, like a brand new car.) Of course, we would love to give them everything. And, it hurts us when they are disappointed in not getting everything. BUT, a parent is supposed to know what is best for his/her child. A child does not think like his parent. Even though they may not understand, our objective as a parent should be to help that child mature.
Imagine God’s job in parenting all of us. Most of the time, we simply cannot see nor understand how He is actually helping us mature. But, when we take the time to recognize some of these truths, it helps us understand that everything He does is good. 
Accepting what happened with Baby Banana was, by far, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, in my Christian faith. It’s the kind of thing that I feel the need to do, over and over again. But, even in the midst of my despair… During those moments where I feel completely broken. I just lift my eyes to the Lord and recite these truths, “I know God loves me. He knows the desires of my heart, even better than I do. He’s good. He’s compassionate. His plan for my life is perfect.”
Sometimes, we just need to say, “God, your will be done.” Then, sit back and wait to see what He does.

Friend, I don’t know the desires of your heart. But, God does! I don’t know if these special, heart-felt desires are already fulfilled or if you are currently suffering. Perhaps waiting. Or, dealing with loss. 

What I do know is that God loves you and knows you better than you know yourself. He wants to give you everything! But, ultimately, He wants you to trust Him. The plans He has for you. He wants to adopt you and be your loving Father.

Consider giving the Lord your heart. Fully! Then, just sit back and trust in what He can do with it. 

I pray that this post blessed you today.

Rachel Scheyer


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