The Difference Between Wants and Needs

Psalm 34:8-10

Sometimes we confuse wants and needs. We can become so focused on our wants that they feel critical to our well-being. Then, when God doesn’t meet our “need,” we get angry or frustrated.

If we ever feel this way, we should ask ourselves, Is my petition essential to accomplishing God’s purpose, or is it only for my enjoyment? If we can’t complete the Lord’s plan without something, then it’s a need, and He will answer when we pray for Him to fulfill that requirement (Phil. 4:19).

God is also pleased to satisfy wants that fit within His purpose and will (Psalm 37:4). And while He isn’t obligated to grant wishes or fulfill any plans but His own, He says that those who seek Him won’t lack any good thing (Psalm 34:10). Pursuing the Lord above all else means making our desires subject to His will. And when we “delight in the Lord” (Psalm 37:4), He’ll also shape our desires.

The heavenly Father wants to be His children’s greatest delight—the One in whom fulfillment and satisfaction are found. When that is true in a believer’s life, then he or she does not require a lot of “stuff,” entertainment, or people in order to be happy. Joy is in the Lord.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 79-84

From In Touch Ministries with Dr. Charles Stanley

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