He is a mighty savior.
He will take d elight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.[a]
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
(Typically in my blog posts I place a passage at the top for you to read in whatever version you prefer. In this case, I chose this passage from the New Living Translation. It speaks more clearly as to what I sense the intent of this passage is trying to communicate.)
This passage strikes me to the heart (in a good way). I, like many of you, want to love Jesus and grow in His love and grace everyday. There is a plethora of scriptures that encourage us to delight in God, to see Him as our “all in all”, to walk with Him through the eyes of faith, to fall in love with Him more and more each day.
Many years ago, however, I was deeply impacted by this passage in Zephaniah. In fact, I first heard it as a song, taught to us back in Bible College days, by an awesome worship leader and fellow student from Hutchinson, KS. Singing this passage not only made it easy to memorize but even 30 years later, I can readily recall the song to my mind and remind myself of a critically important truth –
The word “delights” can mean to exult which means to have exceeding joy or to be jubilant. God has exceeding joy over you and me; in fact, He is jubilant because of us.
Other parts of the Bible tell me that He loves me with an everlasting love; that He lavishes His love on me; I am His beloved because my life is hid with Christ in God. The list can literally go on and on.
During this recent chapter of my journey with God my desire, my focus, my passion has been and continues to be to honor God in all that I do, hear His voice more clearly, obey His will more readily and love Him more deeply.
But…today as I read this passage it was like God saying to me, “Stan, I love you My son and am greatly encouraged by your desire to honor and obey me during this challenging transition time in your life. But, I want you to know and understand something even beyond that. Stan, I delight in you. I rejoice over you. My love for you is SO deep.”
This sounds pretty basic and seems like a pretty simple truth portrayed in Zephaniah 3:17. But, if you are like me (and I know you are because we all live with the taint of Adam and Eve’s choices), you tend to be driven by pleasing God, doing things for God, taking actions that show forth His fruit in your life and well we should.
However, how long has it been since you just allowed the truth to soak deep into your heart and soul that God DELIGHTS in you and REJOICES over you, even to the point of singing.
I’m grappling with this truth even as I write this latest blog post. So, here’s a few points to ponder along with me, your fellow sojourner:
- Do I really believe that God delights and rejoices over me through the power of His unconditional love?
- How often am I guilty of doing things for God because I’m driven rather than drawn
- How often do I feel His rest and peace in my life?
- Am I willing to cease striving and allow God to hug me?
- When was the last time I “sat in Jesus’ lap” and just rested against Him and chatted with Him or even just sat in silence?
I wonder what joyful song God is singing over you and me today?