Sing to the LORD a new song of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker, let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.
Let them praise his name in the festive dance, let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves his people, and he adorns the lowly with victory.
Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy upon their couches;
Let the high praises of God be in their throats. This is the glory of his faithful.
– Various parts of Psalm 149
One thing we’re really good at doing: making life a competition between God and us. The pleasures of the world seem so fun and exciting, while a virtuous life seems too bland and boring. We’re told that God wants us to choose the life of virtue, but life drenched in worldly pleasures seems too attractive. It’s easy for us to begin to think the Lord has it out for us, that he is only trying to ruin our fun.
We so quickly forget this line from the psalm up there: “For the Lord loves his people, and he adorns the lowly with victory.” We forget that the Lord actually loves us. And he doesn’t only love us, but he actually delights in us, just as a parent delights in their own child. He delights in us even as we struggle against sin. He delights in us even as we complain that choosing virtue is too hard. He delights in us in those times when we do choose virtue over the pleasure immediately in front of us. Even after we’ve fallen and look to him for comfort and forgiveness, He delights in us. He delights in us every time we take even the smallest step in his direction. The Lord isn’t interested in making life a competition! He wants his delight in us to be enough.
Let’s make ourselves more aware of the Lord’s love. Spend some time today and imagine the Father looking upon you with such great delight. Imagine the smile on his face, the same way you smile at a toddler or newborn baby. He’s so delighted to call you his child and he wouldn’t choose anyone else to take your place. He knows the struggle is hard, but he’ll be with you in that struggle, waiting for you to look to him and call upon his Name. As we consider the delight of the Lord, let’s also sing his praises. He won’t choose anyone else to be his child; let’s not choose anyone else to be our God.