Proverbs 11:23 The desire of the righteous ends only in good,
but the hope of the wicked only in wrath.
I find this verse very comforting at the moment, particularly as the NIV has interpreted it. The Japanese translation is more spare, not supplying the word “ends,” but it also specifies “fierce wrath.” What comes across to me either way is that motives matter. If our hearts are right before God, our desires bring good, whether we get exactly what we wanted or not. That brings to mind “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4) Sometimes we desire something that is less than God’s best for us out of simple ignorance that anything better is possible, but if we are seeking first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, (Matthew 6:33) the outcome is going to be good anyway. I have long thought that the promise in Psalm 37 included God giving us the desire itself, and not just the item desired. When our desire is fundamentally for God Himself, then the result will always be good. That’s why “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10) Love of anything outside of God is idolatry, and can only end badly.
This, of course, applies to me as much as it does to anyone, but by God’s grace He has been teaching me to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness for many years now. I don’t need to worry that my desires will end badly! I can’t make God’s kingdom come by my strength and wisdom, but I know that the end of all things will indeed be His total dominion, and He can even use me in the process. I am to keep myself available to Him and not worry about the steps in the process. My short-term goals are always subject to the long-term goal of God’s kingdom being established everywhere, and I’m not to get upset about bumps in the road.
Father, thank You for this very encouraging Word. Thank You for the conference we’ve attended over the past two days, and for the love with which You’ve surrounded us. I do submit myself and the ministry You have assigned to me, as well as the church that has resulted, to You afresh. I ask You to use each of those things according to Your plan to bring about Your will on Your schedule, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!