Does God delight in you, and if he does, how would he show it?
Maybe he would show his delight in us by giving us good gifts – health or marriage or children or a dream job or a perfect vacation. But then we all know Christians who have had some or all of those things taken away. Did they lose God’s favor and God’s delight?
Maybe God shows his delight in us not by giving us gifts, but by making us fruitful. God delights in you so your children always obey, your care group always grows, your neighbors always accept your invitations to church, and the guy on the airplane seat next to you accepts Christ before the plane even reaches the runway. But if fruitfulness is how you know God delights in you, what does that mean when all your fruit starts withering on the vine? Have you lost God’s favor and God’s delight?
Maybe God shows his delight not by gifts or by fruitfulness, but by giving us experiences of his love and favor. God delights in you, so you are moved to tears as you think about his love during worship, or you spend your whole devotional time lost in praise. But what about the times when worship seems rote and you fall asleep during your devotions? Has God moved on and found another favorite to delight in?
Psalm 149:4 tells us how we can know God delights in us, and the reason is far deeper and more enduring than gifts or fruitfulness or experience. We know God delights in us because he saved us.
“For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.” (Psalm 149:4)
God delights and takes pleasure in his people, and yes part of that means he does give us good gifts and fruitfulness and experiences. But in the course of a faithfully lived Christian life those things, by God’s wise design, will ebb and flow – but our salvation does not. How do we know God delights in us? Ultimately by this: he has crowned our lives with the greatest and most beautiful adornment imaginable, the gospel of his Son, who laid down his life in our place.