“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)
Do these verses sound too good to be true? I remember thinking that when I first discovered them. God is too wonderful, I thought. I don’t deserve any of this. There must be a catch. Five 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?
Can you imagine Jesus taking delight in you? 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 in the error of my ways 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.
Thinking about Jesus singing over me makes me smile, too. I think about the Disney movies where Prince Charming sings to his love. I wonder if the writers of fairy tales looked to the Prince of Peace and His characteristics to come up with their version of a prince. I wonder if they looked to the hope, restoration, and redemption of the Bible to come up with “and they lived happily ever after.”
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.