Delight in the one who delights in you.
Being a light-bearer raises the bar for all fully devoted followers of Jesus. Even during the challenge of running the race we need to maintain a perspective of who we are – from God’s point of view.
“Jesus loves me this I know” – we’ve been taught it from the beginning but do you believe it today? “For God so loved (insert your name here; also the name of someone who irritates you) that He gave his only begotten Son.” “The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him – in those who hope in His steadfast love.” (Psalm 147:11) “He will rejoice over you with gladness.” (Zephaniah 3:17) “He brought me out into a broad place – he rescued me, because he delighted in me.” (Psalm 18:19) And the list goes on and on.
It’s official: God loves you and delights in you. How can that be when we have so very many shortcomings? It is because God sees us as redeemed and made holy by the forgiving grace of His Son. As John Piper relates, “He sees us becoming in practice what we (already) are positionally in Christ.” Believe it or not, God loves you dearly. Put your troubles at the feet of that truth!
Such an affirmation of our worth, our value to God could be a dangerous thing. We could (but better not) let our egos get puffed up and say, “Look who God loves.” It is a popular “me-centered gospel” preached too often today: ‘God delights in you and wants to favor you with all kinds of (materialistic) blessings.’ The truth is that God does delight in you but His favor may be evidenced by the hardships that draw you ever closer to Him.
The best choice of how to respond to God’s amazing expression of love for us is to delight in Him. “Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.” Psalm 63:3. We are created to delight in God and to enjoy Him more than anything else. We are made to seek His presence throughout the rough parts of life and the mundane as well as the mountaintop experiences of great joy. It is our primary purpose.
Delight in God, not just in His blessings. Delight in Him for who He is, not just what He has done. Even if nothing else is going ‘your way’, fill your day with your delight in Him who delights in us!
“But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:1-2