The Desires Granted
by James Smith, 1860
"The desire of the righteous shall be granted." Proverbs 10:24
Not every desire of a righteous man shall be granted — but such as are in accordance with his character. A righteous man not only believes in the Son of God — that he may be justified; but seeks to be ruled entirely by the will of God — that he may be sanctified. Receiving the offered righteousness of Jesus — he is justified from all things at once, and forever; and being justified by grace — he seeks to abound in every good work. He takes God's Word for his rule in all things, and desires to be internally and externally conformed to it.
He is regenerated — as well as justified; he possesses a new nature — as well as a new righteousness; and this new nature is holy, and will influence and characterize the man. Thus he will be justified before God, by the work of Christ alone; but he will be justified before men by his own work, called the work of faith and labor of love.
The desires referred to are only good. They are generated in the heart by the Holy Spirit, they center in spiritual things, are according to God's will, and have a tendency to glorify his holy name.
We have many desires and wishes which God cannot grant — unless he became our enemy. For we often wish for things which would . . .
inflate our pride,
harden our hearts,
sear our consciences, and
lead us directly away from God and holiness!
Such desires cannot be granted. Nor does the righteous man desire temporal things, so much as spiritual blessings.
Righteous desires shall be granted. Such as are . . .
warranted by the promises,
suited to our condition, and
tending to the good of the church and the world.
And we may be sure too, that if God grants us our desires, he will greatly try us, for we shall certainly desire that God may be glorified; and in order to this, our faith, patience, fortitude, and love will be tried. And we shall be tried too, very much, in reference to the object desired. Abraham desired a son, it was granted — but how he was tried in connection with that son! Job desired to reason with God; his desire was granted — but how deeply he was humbled by it!
Let us desire . . .
the sincere milk of the word, that we may grow thereby;
those mercies from the God of Heaven, which will sanctify and satisfy the soul;
to serve the Lord in holiness and righteousness all the days of our life;
to dwell in the Lord's courts, that we may behold his beauty, inquire his will, and enjoy his ordinances.
Such desires shall be granted.
So also, let us desire the better country, to depart and be with Christ, and to be clothed with our Heavenly dwelling; these desires shall be granted.
All good desires find their objects in Jesus, and in the well-ordered covenant, hence David could sing, "He made with me an everlasting covenant, which is ordered in all things and sure; this is all my salvation, and all my desire."
Reader, are you a righteous man? Have you been stripped of self-righteousness, being led to hunger and thirst after righteousness, and from sheer necessity embraced the righteousness of Jesus? If so, you are righteous before God — and your aim will be to be righteous before men.
What are the ruling desires of your soul? Are they spiritual, or temporal? Are they found in Christ, or in the world? As the heart is — so will the desires be. If the heart is under a carnal bias — then carnal things will be principally desired; and if the heart is under a spiritual bias — then spiritual things will appear all important.
It is a mercy that God does not fulfill all our desires — for we would be in a sad state if he did! And it is as great a mercy, that he does fulfill every desire that . . .
flows from the new nature,
accords with his promises, and
will promote his glory and our good.
Gracious Lord, we beseech you, so to sanctify our natures, that we may only desire what you have provided; and only ask for what you have promised, so shall we realize the encouraging declaration, that "the desires of the righteous shall be granted!"