Breathe in this truth, long and deep: God delights in you.
“That’s impossible,” you may say. “I can be downright self-centered, lazy, and prideful. Some days I can’t seem to do anything right. How could God possibly be pleased with me?” (I am quite familiar with this train of thought myself!)
Listen carefully. “The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love (Psalm 147:11).”
Fear, in this case, does not refer to terror. Fear refers to these attitudes:
The second half of that verse makes clear that God rejoices in those who turn to him with faith.
If those terms describe your heart, then the following statements are true of you:
He smiles upon you as you express appreciation for his blessings.
His eyes glisten with love as you pray for guidance and strength.
He revels in the time you spend immersed in his Word.
His heart fills with joy as you exult in creation.
He beams with pleasure when you help a stranger.
He rejoices when your heart is filled with peace and joy.
Yes, there are going to be moments when we stumble back into selfishness and pride. We’re not perfect—at least I’m not. But hallelujah! God does not leave it up to us to work through the perfecting-process alone.
Consider this good news the writer of Hebrews shared: “May the God of peace…equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 13:20-21).
Wow. God not only makes clear what pleases him, he works in our hearts and minds to mold us into those kind of people.
Meanwhile, I think he takes great pleasure in progress, just like human parents do.
You know how it is. Mom and Dad practically shiver with excitement when their little tyke takes his first step and speaks his first word.
But did they leave their little one to learn these skills on his own? Hardly. With loving attention they held the little guy upright so he could practice taking steps. They repeated words countless times until their toddler could form them on his own.
Now relate this situation to our Heavenly Father. Isn’t it probable he experiences the same joy as we take faltering steps toward spiritual maturity? And he’s not leaving us alone to find our own way. He’s equipping us and working in us all along the way.
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Thank you, Lord, for being a gracious God who actually delights in his children. Thank you for loving us in spite of our failings and for smiling upon our efforts, meager as they may be. Our hearts are filled with awe and gratitude to realize you, the ultimate, all-powerful King of the universe, not only care about each step of progress we make, you are right beside us. You are magnificent—I can never praise you enough!
(Photo credits: www.pinterest.com; http://www.bsna.co.uk.)