The Longing of our Hearts; Thirsting for God

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalms 42:1-2)

As a deer pants

It’s been said that there is a God-shaped hole in our hearts that only He can fill. It’s true–we have an intrinsic, deep-seated longing for the Lord.

  • “He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:26-27).

  • “My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God” (Psalms 84:2).

  • “In the path of your judgments, O LORD, we wait for you; your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul. My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness” (Isaiah 26:8-9)

My soul thirsts

Discontentment, disatisfaction, emptiness–do not labor to rid your life of these feelings. These are reminders that this world is not our home! We are waiting for a better place. And if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

  • “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Philippians 3:20-21).

  • “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city” (Hebrews 11:13-16).

When shall I come and appear before God?

In God’s presence we shall be satisfied. When we are with Him, our joy will be full. Until then, our souls will pine and we’ll have times of hunger and thirst–some times will be more intense than others. But when these feelings come, know that they point to the day when we’ll be with the Lord forever.

  • “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalms 16:11).

  • “As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness” (Psalms 17:15).

  • “If indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened–not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee” (2 Corinthians 5:3-5).

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