Two of my favorite concepts in Scripture are the Lord’s unfailing love and His delighting in us. And I think they go hand in hand.
The phrase “unfailing love” appears 39 times in the NIV, and it is only used to speak of God’s love, never man’s. Telling, isn’t it? The Lord loves much more reliably than we do. The security He offers is incomparable. And for someone who is constantly asking of Him and of others, “Do you love me?” reflecting on His unfailing love for me overwhelms my heart.
Psalm 36:7 describes God’s unfailing love as priceless. Yes, God’s infallible love for us is invaluable, and constant access via Scripture to assurance of that kind of love is pretty priceless as well. Namely because we just can’t find unfailing love anywhere else. No matter how well others love us, they just can’t love us perfectly.
Possibly as a result of God’s unfailing love for us, He also delights in us. Delights! He experiences joy on account of you and me.
On some level, God delights in us because He made us (Psalm 149:4). We automatically evoke a flood of love and joy in His heart simply because we are His, just as the thought of your child or grandchild warms your heart. We don’t have to do or be anything spectacular to cause God to generally delight in us…
But on another level, God’s delight in us in inextricably linked to our doing specific things.
- “The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love,” (Psalm 147:11). If we have a healthy respect for God and trust His heart for us, then He will delight in us.
- “The Lord detests those whose hearts are perverse, but he delights in those whose ways are blameless,” (Proverbs 11:20). If we act out of pure hearts, then He will delight in us.
- “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy,” (Proverbs 12:22). If we are characterized by consistent honesty and dependability, then He will delight in us.
Perhaps God is experiencing two different kinds of delight – a delight in who we are (His children), and a delight in what we do (the actions outlined above). The first kind of delight is constant. The second kind of delight comes and goes, depending on our behavior.
I rest in that first kind of delight. There is freedom in knowing no matter how thick-headed and hard-hearted I act, the Lord delights in me.
But I thrive on the second kind of delight. I am inspired to do the things God wants me to do because He will feel delight if I am obedient. And knowing I am causing God to feel delighted, in turn, delights me. I’m not sure there is any better feeling. And I love how God designed things to work this way. Win-win.