The Lord your God is in your midst, 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)
What an astonishing mystery, that God truly delights in me! He does not love His children out of obligation, but out of His delight in loving. He has no regrets about loving us, but is glad to work Christ’s life into ours. His is not a reluctant grace, but an eager and selfless love which cherishes us as His own.
How does God’s delight affect my life? For one, it reminds me that in spite of all the sin He knows lives in me (and He knows it more completely than I do), in spite of my smallness and His infinity, I bring Him pleasure. I hold that treasure in my heart like a sunlit smile, confident that no matter what the day may bring, or how unlovable I may feel, my God joyfully loves me.
My Father’s delight also fills my heart with delight in my own children. Because I can trust His love for me, my heart is open to God’s work in me. In the same way, my delight in my children opens their hearts to trust me and the Lord who works through me in their lives. Even as I educate them in academics, or teach them from God’s Word, or model Christ’s character for them, in the end, all of those things will be fruitless if I do not delight in them!
Soil made hard by neglect will never sprout even the healthiest seed; it will remain dormant in dry dirt. But when I pour out my love into my children’s hearts, soaking them with my joy in who they are, their hearts grow soft and hopeful. My delight in them (and in my God) prepares their hearts to receive the good seed of God’s Word and His ways. When they are secure in my love, they can experience God’s love more fully, too.
My favorite columnist, Andree Seu, wrote about delight:
What is less efficient than the story of mankind? If it were about efficiency, God would have wiped the plate clean and commenced with more promising subjects. The Bible in its entirety is a love story, a tale of unquenchable delight — His for us, and finally ours for Him. (Sept. 22, 2007, World magazine)
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. (Micah 7:18)
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
He drew me out of deep waters.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
He rescued me because He delighted in me. (Psalm 8:16 & 19)
. . . the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He crowns the humble with salvation. (Psalm 149:3-4)
The Lord delights in the way of the man whose steps He has made firm.
Though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him in His hand. (Psalm 37:23-24)
May God’s delight fill you today with a rich happiness that overflows onto those around you.