“The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing” (Zeph. 3:17).
One of the harder temptations to overcome for many is doubt and fear over God’s true assessment of His people. There are many reasons for this. Many people grow up in homes where parents do not express much love or grace, and the trained instinct is to constantly try to perform well, with constant criticism or threats or angry outbursts or impossible demands. This leaves people with the constant nagging sense that they aren’t good enough, a constant nagging sense of their failures. And many Christians even struggle with this; they know they are forgiven, they know the gospel, but they don’t really feel it, they don’t have many times of refreshing.
Sometimes this is because full repentance hasn’t taken place; sometimes God’s people are still clinging to bits and pieces of their sin. And that can certainly weigh on you and prevent you from having joy.
But sometimes the problem is a false view of God. Sometimes, you hear the words grace and forgiveness, but you still don’t think of God as actually happy, joyful, and glad about you. So if you think of God as the great banker in the sky, Our Accountant in Heaven Hallowed By Thy Spreadsheets, who happens to be willing to forgive your debts and pay for your sins, but His real love is keeping track of all the accounts, you’re going to have a Hell of a hard time having joy. And I mean that literally: that’s Hell.
So let me tell you plainly that our God is not like that. The Triune God is not an accountant. He is not a banker. He is not angry with you. He is not scrutinizing and judging your every move. He is Your faithful and loving Father. And here in Zephaniah it says that He’s a lover and a singer. Because He is mighty to save, He rejoices over His people with joy, a mighty joy. He sings over His people, out of pure delight.
Have you ever noticed that when you’re singing at the top of your lungs, it’s hard to think about anything else? Your whole being has to be thrown into it. That is how your God is: His love for Jesus is so complete, so full, that He sings at the top of His lungs, and this says that He sings over all of those who are in Him. It’s a song of delight and joy; it’s a song of heartfelt welcome. He delights in You.
So come and welcome to Jesus Christ.