by Richard Liantonio, Hephzibah Ministries
I feel like a broken record but for a number of months I have been launching out of the verse from Psalm 145:16 where David says to God, “You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing” and how God touches the longing of our heart to be understood. I’d like now to look at the universal desire for the assurance of being enjoyed, not just to be loved, but also to feel enjoyed and know we are delighted in. Many of us know what it is like to be in relationship with people who we know are supposed to love us, or even say that they love us, yet we never receive the assurance that they enjoy us, we are never fully confident that they actually like us being with them. While we “know” that we are “loved,” we can have torment in our hearts as we wonder whether they actually like us or are just bearing with us. The reality is that we often have difficulty fully believing people who say they love us but don’t smile at us and enjoy not just what we do, but who we are. The same is true with God. We’ve heard all our lives that He loves us. However, if we don’t know that he actually likes us, if we never see Him smiling at and rejoicing in us, either our faith to believe that He actually loves us or the quality of love that we perceive at the heart level will be very low.
Fortunately for us, we don’t have to live that way, because the God of the Bible satisfies the longing of our heart, not just to be enjoyed, but also to know and experience that we are. Over and over the Word of God speaks of the abundant gladness in the heart of God and how he deeply enjoys us. One of my favorite verses on the subject is Zephaniah 3:17, “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.” First this verse tells us that God is with us, we are never alone, his unchanging presence is always with us. He is also mighty to save us: He is not some “nice guy” pushover floating on a cloud in heaven, He is a warrior, a fierce, victorious, mighty, conquering, heroic savior fighting on our behalf, fighting for our hearts. It is this God who takes great delight in us. He is not like many people who will give you a (fake) smile when you see one minute and not care about you the next, because He is always with you, constant, reliable, unceasing in His presence and gladness towards You. He is also not like weak people who half-smile at you because they are so afraid of you not liking or rejecting them, emotionally needing your affirmation. No, our God is mighty, strong, and self-assured and from that place of confidence He freely rejoices over you out of the abundance and steadfastness of His heart. The intensity of His delight in you is so great that it overflows in song. As the trials or even the mundane of life threaten to make you lose heart, remember the unchanging, ever-present, mighty warrior God likes you so much that right now in heaven He is bursting into song. This week take some time to shut out all the other voices that vie for your attention and listen for the voice of God singing over you in love.