7.27.2014

The Delight of God:

As any good researcher would do prior to writing a theological blog posting, I posed a question to my Facebook friends: "What do you think God think about you?  Does he have any thoughts or feelings regarding you?"

The answers varied from, "Forgiven" and "His child", to "God is needed elsewhere. I'm just fine", and "I doubt God cares."  The responses came publicly and privately from the range of those who consider them followers of Jesus Christ to those who consider themselves Atheists/Skeptics.  This particular posting is not intended to convince the Atheist/skeptic.  While I hope it does just that, it is intended to serve more as encouragement for my brothers and sisters in Christ. 

It breaks my heat that a number of Jesus followers have a view of God as a spiritual curmudgeon who perpetually shakes his head at our sins and failures.  To be sure, God desires His redeemed children to behave like redeemed children.  There is no doubt about that.  However, it seems apparent that many think they don't measure up and that we will always struggle to please God.

So here it is, brothers and sisters.  God's very word proclaims it: God is delighted in you!  There, I said it.  You don't have to continue agreeing with the devil and condemning yourself any more.  The Old Testament prophet, Zepheniah, (3:17) proclaims, "He (God) delights over you with singing."  That same passage refers to God's "gladness" and his "rejoicing" over those of us who are His people (aka, "in Christ").  Gladness is the "feeling of pleasure, joy, or delight; causing happiness"; and Rejoicing is the "showing of great pleasure, joy, or delight."  The former is a noun, while the latter is a verb.  Delight is what God feels about you, and rejoicing in song is what he does for you!

Is that difficult to believe: That the Creator of the vastness of space and the smallness of grains of sand thinks this way about you and me?  My mind is boggled by it, yet it gives me great encouragement.  The Psalmist (37:23) wrote, "The Lord directs the steps of the godly, and He delights in every detail of their lives."  You may be tempted to think, "Yeah, but I'm not godly, so how could He ever delight in me?  If you could see into my private affairs, you'd know God doesn't think of me as godly.

Well, the Psalmist answered that notion in the next verse: "Though they stumble, they will never fall.  The Lord holds them by the hand."  The word of God affirms that the godly stumble.  YET, God still holds them by hand...and He STILL delights in them...in US!  Notice what it DOESN'T say: that God delights in us only when we do right; only when we've read our Bible faithfully for 14 hours a day, or only when we've prayed for the other 10.  No, He loved and saved us EVEN WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS, so what do you think you could ever do to change his mind or opinion about you?

We may be tempted to think the Gospel merely gets us INTO God's good favor, and that afterwards He lowers the proverbial boom, waiting for a reason to reject us once again.  But that's not how it is!  He loves us because of one simple, yet profound, word: GRACE.  By God's grace, He has poured out His love, mercy, and favor upon us.  He draws us to Christ, and he sets those of us who trust in Christ as His delight.

You bring God great pleasure, joy, and gladness because when He looks at you He sees Jesus Christ...and Jesus is the beloved Son who brings the Father great joy (Matt 3:17, 17:5).  This is great news for the saint and the sinner alike!  For the saint, because you do not need to walk each day of your life in perpetual condemnation; for the sinner, because you, too, can be the object of the Creator's delight.  There is nothing you've done that's so bad that God will never accept you; and if you're a follower of Jesus, there's nothing you've done that's so bad that God will reject you.

So, go.  Live every day in the delight of God, and know every day that you are the object of God's great delight.  When things get bad, imagine the Father in Heaven singing over you!!!

2 comments:

  1. Hi Mike! I really enjoyed reading this post. As someone who firmly finds myself in the hopeless camp, your thoughts really challenge me. It would be such a great burden lifted off my shoulders if I could get it through my thick skull that what you say here is true. I have one question for you, though. Could you point to any scriptures that state or imply that "when [God] looks at you He sees Jesus Christ"? I have heard this said more often recently, but I can't remember any passages that drive that point home. Perhaps I am dense. :) But if you have the time, I'd appreciate you sending pertinent scriptures my way. So good to read another encouraging post from you, Mike.

    J

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    1. Hello again, J. I am so glad you are encouraged by this. I hope you will not look down on yourself any longer, but see yourself as God does: redeemed!!!

      To answer your question, the Bible does not outright say, "God sees Jesus when He looks at you." That would seem to be a logical impossibility, for it would suggest that not being able to see us is something God CANNOT do. Of course He sees us, but He sees us differently when we are in Christ. He sees us as redeemed.

      2 Cor 5:21 tells us Jesus, the One who knew no sin, became sin so that we might BECOME the righteousness of God. When we trust Christ, we are IN him, and He is in us. We take on HIS righteousness and holiness. The Bible tells us that we are a "new creation" and that we "are holy."

      So, in those passages (and many others), we understand that God sees us differently. I think we simply have a harder time forgiving ourselves and seeing past our ugliness in sin. We tend to believe Satan's lies about us rather than God's truth about us. We ARE different because of the Cross -- that's how God sees it, how He sees us!!!!! :-D

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