"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing."
~Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV)
The commentary in the ESV study Bible reads: "The previously weakened nation is in the presence of the mighty one, God himself, who, unlike human warriors and heroes, does not lose heart. Instead of fleeing in the face of danger, God can save his people from it. This verse remarkably adds that God himself will rejoice over you with gladness, indicating that when God's people seek him and follow him, and rejoice in him and trust him, then God personally delights in them. This is not an aloof, emotionless contentment, but it bursts forth in joyful divine celebration: he will exult over you with loud singing."
As I read this last night, I kept asking the question: who am I? Who am I that God would save me, rejoice over me with gladness, quiet me with His love, and exult over me with loud singing? Nothing, I'm absolutely nothing; yet, an answer not of myself overwhelmed my soul--I wrote these words in my journal last night.
You are my child. You are chosen and dearly loved. When you seek me and follow me, this is the result. Like Israel, you stray and turn away and sin; yet, my love for you never fades. There is nothing you can do to make me love you any more. There is nothing you can do to make me love you any less. There is nothing you can do to win my love or approval--that's what's so amazing about my grace, it's free and forever. I love you so much that, not only do I rejoice over you with singing, but I sent my one and only Son to die so that you may have eternal life. I gave you life--and not just life, but life abundant. Now, child, live for me.
As these incredible truths bathed my soul and humbled me, I also wrote:
How can I not, then, live completely for my God? How can I doubt his plan and sovereignty? How can I not shout this from the rooftops? I have His grace amazing; I have His unconditional love; I have life...
We all go through periods of doubt. Brian, our pastor, actually spoke of that this morning.
"...for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything."
~1 John 3:20
My God is greater than my doubt. He is greater than my wrestling heart. He knows me completely. He loves me unconditionally. He saved me not because of any "good" I ever did (good will never get me into Heaven). He rejoices over me with gladness. He quiets me with His love. He exults over me with loud singing.
What incredible truths. What amazing grace. What overwhelming love.
...and it's free....completely....because of Jesus Christ.
I pray that these truths speak to your soul as they have to mine.