“The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)
My first reaction to these verses was a typical Shanna "excuse me?" *one eyebrow raised in slight disbelief*
God is with me. Got that, herad it in Sunday School, proved it in Grad School.
He is mighty to save me. Yup, my mind can handle that with very little trouble.
He takes great delight in me? Now let's hold on just a minute. The God and Holy Creator of the whole wide universe takes delight in me?! um.... *scratches head* really? I had a hard time wrapping my brain around that. But as hard as it is for me to comprehend that He delights in me, His Word says it is true. When I allow myself to agree with His Word, I cannot help but smile. To me, “taking delight in” means that Jesus likes to be around me. He wants me to be near Him. He laughs when I’m funny. He listens when I tell Him my innermost thoughts and feelings. He supports and comforts me when I’m sick or hurt, and He instructs me when I screw up so I can be free from destructive thoughts and impure motives.
He delights in me as a parent delights in His child. As His child who sometimes goes astray, He disciplines me to bring me back to Him. He protects and guards my spirit, soul and mind. If I turn to Him when I am upset or fearful, He will “quiet” me with “His love”. This love is strong and unconditional. It won’t diminish over time, and I cannot earn it, but I must open my heart and allow myself to receive it. During difficult times, if I will allow myself to concentrate on what His Word says and not on my doubts or fearful thoughts, His love comes through the Scriptures and into my heart.
He will quiet me with His love. Honestly, my first thought was, "I hope so because delighting in me is throwing me for a loop." But the last one really kicked my butt.
He rejoices over me with singing. Why would He do that? I'm SO not worthy of that kind of love. And with singing?? I don't even like my own family to sing Happy Birthday to me because I don't like that kind of attention on me. Why on earth would God choose to lavish me with that kind of attention. There are certainly more worthy people on earth, why me? Who am I?............
....................... after much pondering I asked myself, "What's the catch? God is too wonderful." I don’t deserve any of this. There must be a catch. A few years later, I’ve yet to find it. There is no risk in giving all of your heart to Jesus. He already knows you intimately. He knows your fears, your insecurities, your self-centeredness, your selfishness, your anger, your frustrations, your doubts, your regrets. Nothing about you shocks Him or causes Him to despise you. He loves you, and His love is perfect and complete. He is ever ready to help you overcome the Enemy. He is “with you”. He is your Champion and Defender. He is “mighty to save”. I need a champion who is “mighty”! How ‘bout you?
To be sure, those in Christ Jesus will live happily ever after—and that’s no fairy tale. When I spend time with Jesus in His Word, in prayer, and in quiet solitude with my heart set on Him in praise and adoration, I know that I know that I know my God is real, strong, and loving . God is wonderful. I don’t deserve all He offers me in Christ Jesus. I never will. Praise be to God that I don’t have to earn it because of the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross. As soon as I confessed my sins and accepted Jesus into my heart, I became His very own and an heir to His kingdom. My Prince has come to me. And His name is Christ Jesus. It’s all about grace fueled by unconditional love. The unconditional, incomprehensible love of God.