Psalm 38:9


All I have experienced at the hands of my God and all I know of his free and sovereign grace in Christ inspires and constantly presses upon me the pursuit of these five great desires. These are the things upon which my heart is fixed, the things for which I labor, the things for which my heart groans before God.


THE FAVOR OF GOD -- "I entreated thy favor with my whole heart" (Ps. 119:58). So long as I am conscious of God's favor, I am strong. No foe can terrify me. No trouble can destroy me. But there are times when God hides his face from me. Then I am troubled (Ps. 30:7). It is the awareness of God's favor that gives me peace.


THE IMAGE OF GOD -- I want to be like my God. The image of God is Jesus Christ. I rejoice to know that one day soon I shall be like him, perfectly holy and without sin (Rom. 8:29; 1 John 3:2). God predestinated it. Christ died to secure it (Eph. 5:25-27). The Holy Spirit preserves me for it (Eph. 1:13-14). But I want to live in this world in the image of God, as Christ lived in this world, loving, serving, helping, and forgiving his people for the glory of God (Eph. 4:32-5:1).


THE PRESENCE OF GOD -- Nothing can give me rest in this world of trouble but the conscious awareness of God's presence. I cannot lead his people (Ex. 33:14-15), endure the trials and temptations of life (Isa. 42:10; 43:1-7), live peaceably in this world of woe, worship with his saints (Matt. 18:20), or die with confidence without the knowledge of God's presence.


THE WILL OF GOD -- (Prov. 3:5-6). I have learned and am constantly reminded that it is never best for me to have my will. I do not know what I need, or what is best for me. My Savior taught me to pray, "Not my will, Thy will be done!" If I had my life to live over and could choose whatever I wanted, I would walk the same path, endure the same heartaches, experience the same troubles, and weep the same tears as it has been my lot to experience. What has been has been the will of my Father. And what shall be, I gladly leave to him.


THE GLORY OF GOD -- (Ps. 35:27). "Father, glorify thy name!" I truly want nothing else. In my home, in the life I live, in the affairs of the church, and in the doctrine I believe and preach, the glory of God is and must be paramount! Nothing else matters.


      The favor of God, the image of God, the presence of God, the will of God, the glory of God: -- These are the things for which my soul groans, the things my heart craves. What are the things for which your heart groans and labors?