“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
Here’s great news for today–the Lord delights in YOU!
With all your imperfections and flaws, you bring a smile to the Lord of the universe.
This verse in Zephaniah gives us a snapshot of God’s nature and depth of his unconditional love for us.
5 ways God shows His love for us in Zephaniah 3:17
- God’s love is shown through His presence–God is with us. He does not abandon us but claims us as his own. There have been times when I’ve felt alone. In those times, I make the choice to turn to the Lord, to read the scriptures and listen to praise music. Changing my focus helps me remember God’s loving presence as Emmanuel. Instead of feeling alone, I gain the peace of God.
- God’s love is shown through His power–He is mighty to save. God moved powerfully in the past, redeeming us through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, demonstrating His great love for us. Once we accept the Lord and become a new creation, we see God’s power today. He helps us press on through when we want to quit. God empowers us to grow to be more Christ like. He takes a hardened heart and transforms the person into a loving soul. He stirs us to persevere through an ongoing struggle. His power is the undercurrent of life, enabling us to serve others.
- The depth of love is shown in God’s action of love through delighting in us. Like a dad watching his child performing in a little league game, he cheers us on. He delights in us with pride when we hit the ball far or make a great play. But when the team loses, this loving Father is the one who still takes us for ice cream. Why? Because he loves us anyway. He not only cheers for us when we win but believes in us when we lose. He shows us his grace even when we are disappointed with ourselves.
- God’s action of love quiets and calms us, no matter what we’re feeling. The image is like a mom holding her distraught child in a comforting embrace. The sobbing child quiets down, able to rest in the arms of love. Here the power of love is strong, but gentle. This is a beautiful picture of how God’s love can quiet us. Remembering God’s love for me draws my heart back to Him. When I faced cancer surgery, my soul became calm when I recalled God’s love and presence.
- The last description of love is that God rejoices over us with singing. Sometimes he rejoices over us with a quiet lullaby, and sometimes with a celebration of a joyful symphony and fireworks. When we worship Him wholeheartedly, God rejoices over us . He smiles when we share His love and grace with others, living the way that He showed us through Jesus.
Let God’s love soak into your heart.
God’s delight is shown in more verses, when we follow his ways.
Psalm 147:11 The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Proverbs 11:20 The Lord detests those whose hearts are perverse, but he delights in those whose ways are blameless.
Proverbs 12:22 The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.
God, our heavenly Father, loves us lavishly and calls us His children.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1 NIV
Who can resist a toddler looking up at you with pleading eyes, upraised arms and wiggling fingers? I confess I melt when one of my grandchildren wants picked up or gives me hugs. It is precious to love them and also observe how they express love. When tired, they lay their head on your shoulder. When they want comfort, they asked to be picked up into your arms.
Why is it so hard to believe the truth that God delights in each of us, quiets us with His love, and rejoices over us with singing? We think we aren’t “good enough” for God to be pleased with us, that we have to be perfect to be loved.
Instead of believing that lie, realize that knowing you are loved by God gives you comfort, courage and strength.
While it is encouraging that God delights in each of us, God cannot make us love Him.
Will you embrace God’s delight and love for you?
Release your fears and surrender to the loving heavenly Father.
As we grow in understanding the depth of God’s love for us, do we embrace it in our daily lives?
Some days I’m overly busy and don’t take time to remember the great love of God. I rush from one thing to another without any thought of Him. Other times I’m pre-occupied or distracted and neglect to savor His precious love. Or I fall into self-condemnation, questioning my worth and listening to the lies of Satan.
God’s word helps us in the struggle, reminding us that His love has no condemnation within it.
This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 1 John 3:19-20 NIV
When I stop to reflect of the depth of God’s love for me, how He sent Jesus to become one of us, how Jesus carried my sin to the cross and rose from death—I want to worship Him and open my heart to receive more of this love.
This love is not based on my performance or on my striving to do things right, but is purely based on the truth that God loves me, no matter what. Unconditionally. Period.
Meditating on God’s love calms my heart. A quiet whisper to my soul assures me of this unending, unconditional love. Like an anxious child soothed by the nearness of the parent, my heart rests even when my world is spinning.
And He loves you too. His arms will open with an embrace for you.
God shows his love for each of us through His presence with us, his power, his delight, he quiets and calms us, and rejoices over us when we turn to him.
With all the darkness in the world, it’s easy to become hardened to love, or even cynical to God’s love. Yet, God continues to love us.
My prayer for you is the same prayer of Paul in Ephesians 3:17-19.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Will you wrap God’s love around you?