I’ve been going to church all my life. I’ve heard a lot of people’s interpretations of a lot of scripture passages. They don’t always agree. Often, only one or two verses are quoted to reinforce a point that is being made. Then when I’ve studied the verses for myself, I’ve seen them in a different light because of the context. Without context, you can make a verse seem to say anything you like, but it may or may not be accurate.
A good example of this is Psalm 37:4. I first heard this verse in the New International Version: “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” It has been interpreted to mean that if you focus on God, He will give you what you want. The important thing to note is that the promise of getting what you want is based on the fulfillment of the command to delight yourself in the Lord. If you put God first, your desires will be holy, and He will fulfill them. (Matthew 6:33) I’ve also heard it explained that God puts your desires in your heart. You want what you want because God put that thought in your head. I would not want to say that God doesn’t give us our dreams, or that our desires don’t come from Him, but I don’t believe that the context of this verse supports that interpretation. If you look at the rest of Psalm 37, you will see that the major focus is not to fret when things go well for those who do evil. (Psalm 37:1, Psalm 37:7-8)
I believe that the first interpretation is more accurate. But I think it is important to realize that the fulfillment of our desires will not necessarily (or even likely) be instantaneous. That is why in Psalm 37:7 David reminds us to wait patiently and confidently. It is possible that our desires will not be fulfilled before we reach heaven. Don't be discouraged by that. In this life we will have our good days and our bad days, days of blessing and days of frustration, but whatever is happening, we cannot look at the evildoers and think that we would be better off if we lied, cheated or stole. Whatever gratification they get from their actions is temporary.
The other thing I think it is important to consider is that we might often misinterpret our afflictions as well. The older I get, the more I can look back and see the benefits that came from my struggles—how job loss led to a better job, how working through conflicts led to stronger relationships, how hard times led to leaning more on God’s grace. David was looking back too when he wrote this Psalm, (Psalm 37:25) so his counsel was based on experience.
The New English Translation (the version you see when you hover over the reference) doesn’t isolate Psalm 37:4, but translates it as an extension of Psalm 37:3. (Psalm 37:3-4) Trust in the Lord, do what is right, maintain your integrity. Then you will delight in the Lord, your desires will be pure, and He will delight in giving good gifts to you. (Matthew 7:11)