Psalm 37 has often been misquoted or struggled with, all thanks to verse 4. This, of course, is wrong. It’s all thanks to human sin and selfishness, not the Word, but you get my meaning.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
The emphasis in this verse is on God, not us; as usual, though, instead of reading the first half and meditating on it, we immediately see the second half of the verse—that is, we immediately think of ourselves. What ends up happening is simply a dismissal of God as a liar. “I’m a Christian, and I’m not getting what I want!”
Disregarding the rest of the Biblical witness (James 4:2, 3), we pine for the lusts and desires of the flesh, expecting the almighty and holy God and King of creation to submit and give, “as he promised” in Psalm 37:4. James’s characterization of us strikes deep when he says,
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” – James 4:4, 6
Do you want the desires of your heart? Turn to Christ, meditate on the Law of God, and “delight yourself in the Lord!” Read the rest of the Psalm, or even just the next verse: “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” Once we turn from our ways and conform our will to the Father’s, abiding and trusting in it like Christ did (John 6:38), our desires change—and we realize He has given us the desires of our hearts all along: Himself.