Living with the Trust of God’s Pleasure

For the Lord takes pleasure in his people…   (Psalm 149:4)

Although I have read these words more times than I can count, I had never really seen, heard, or felt them.  I was reading this psalm a few weeks ago, and these words just leapt off the page.  My first thought was this:  Really?  How could God be pleased with us, pleased with me, when we all do so much that would seem to cause His displeasure?

I think I know about six people who actually, truly, naturally, and firmly believe that God takes pleasure in them.  Most of us don’t. I say that through listening to my own conscience and to the outpourings of guilt and shame, I have heard from God’s children for nearly 40 years.

Here is what I most often have heard from others and from the murmurings of my own mind:  Yes, God loves us, forgives us, and wants the best for us, and even though He is probably sometimes pleased with us, He would be even more pleased if we were just better people who didn’t make so many mistakes, and who said more prayers and did more for others.  I so often feel that there will always be a gap between how God feels about me as I am and how God would feel if only I were more than I am.

Where does this suspicion of God’s simmering disfavor come from?  Bad theology? Cranky preaching? Conditional parental love? Or simply that many of us carry around shaming and belittling voices telling us we will never be good enough?

I have been praying every day in the last few weeks with today’s scripture.  The more I have prayed with the words, the more they have been breaking into my heart.  When I do get a glimmer that God takes pleasure in us, regardless of what we do or don’t do, regardless of our lostness, brokenness, and foolishness, something deep within me shifts and lightens up.  Simply put, I am given more hope for myself and for all of us.

While praying with these words this morning, it occurred to me that any instinct on our part to squeeze any part of God’s heart is a sin.  How dare we think that our actions can control how God feels about us?  Do we really think we are in control of His heart?

Today’s scripture couldn’t be clearer:  God takes pleasure in us.  He does so because He knows who we belong to—Him, and in whose image we are made—His.  I have a hunch that if we trusted that God takes pleasure in us, we would take more pleasure in our life.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Do you believe that God takes pleasure in you?
  1. If so, how come? If not, how come?
  1. If you daily lived with the trust that God takes pleasure in you, how would your life change?

2 thoughts on “Living with the Trust of God’s Pleasure

  1. Watson Potter

    You reference to Psalm 149:9 is one that brings me hope and delight. “For the Lord takes pleasure in his people”. The love of God is abounding and an ever presence within our lives. Often times we can get distracted by fear, hatred, laziness, doubt, to name a few. Does God get delight in that, probably not. Although he delights in us, He wants us to rejoice and love his creation. I can only imagine what God was thinking when we were created. The excitement and joy for us to come into this world and enjoy his creation. As a parent, the joy I felt when I was given the gift of my 3 kids…I cannot be prouder. God feels the same for us but probably in a much grander scale.
    God wants each one of us to live to our full human and spiritual potential! Falling into the darkness of sin, fear, laziness and doubt, as I mentioned above, is not allowing either God or ourself to live to the fullest. Pray every day, talk to God, give praise and thanks to Him. He has abounded EVERY living thing with His love and Grace. Love God by accepting His pleasure within us and this will allow us to have pleasure with our neighbors and His creation. God loves us! Let us show God how much we love Him.

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