(Bible quotations are from the NIV unless otherwise stated)
The Lord's Delight
26th April 2006
In my last column, we looked briefly at Proverbs 4:23:
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
How good are you at guarding your heart? Do you really understand how valuable a thing your heart is?
I expect your heart has been bruised many, many times in this life. We need to learn how to protect our hearts better. But this week, I'd like to give you some healing balm for your heart. If your experience of the Christian life is typical, your heart will need much more healing than this, but I hope this will help a little.
Psalm 147 verse 11 says:
the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Maybe you're not the most popular member of your church, maybe you're not the one they turn to for prayer or teaching. Maybe you never did fulfil your dreams of being effective in His service. Maybe your family still don't worship the Lord. Maybe those closest to you still belittle you and insult you.
But do you fear the Lord? Do you trust in His unfailing love?
Then - believe it - God delights in you!
Yes - you!
Why did he choose you before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4)? Why did He choose to reveal His gospel to you? Why did He choose to put His saving faith in your heart? We don't know, but it was His sovereign, free, deliberate choice to spend the rest of eternity in your company.
And we know that God sees something delightful in you - because Psalm 147:11 tells us so. You fear Him. And you trust in His unfailing love.
Your family, your church, your workmates, may not take much delight in you. But you are God's delight.
Let me put this another way. Hebrews 12:2 says:
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before Him. What do you think that joy is?
It's you and me - His people - those whom He chose to redeem into His family for ever. Those who fear and trust Him. The saints (*). Us.
Smile. Jesus loves you :-)
(*) "Saints" means "sanctified ones". All Christians are saints, although we don't always behave like saints (that is, we don't always behave like Christians). Even then, God still loves us.