How Do You Think God Looks At You – With Disappointment Or Delight?

How does God look at you?

Let’s take a simple test. How would you answer the following question: When Jesus Christ looks at me, he:

1. Feels slightly disappointed.
2. Feels angry at me and wants to punish me.
3. Feels annoyed. Thinks, why can’t you get it right? How long do I have to put up with you?
4. Feels genuine pleasure in me.
5. Feels tender affection and love for me.
6. Delights in me.

Over the years many fellow believers have told me they believe in their head that God loves them, but have nagging doubts that he really finds them pleasing in his sight. Many of us are like the servant who buried his talent in the ground, who said, “Master, I knew you to be a hard man.” We think of God as a “hard man” who scrutinizes us for every flaw. We think of him as shaking his head in disappointment and saying, “Is this the best you can do for me?” We’re so aware of our shortcomings and sins we can’t believe that Jesus could possibly take pleasure in us.

But Christ’s love for those he redeemed is the tender, cherishing, delighting love of a husband for his bride. Paul exhorts husbands to “love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Eph 5:25). Christ loved his bride so much he eagerly left heaven to endure poverty, hunger, weariness and thirst to redeem her. He was glad to be rejected, mocked, tortured, crucified, and drink God’s foaming cup of wrath to purchase us, his bride, with his own blood (Acts 20:28).

Genesis tells us that Jacob so delighted in Rachel, he was glad to work for seven years to obtain her as his wife: “So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her” (29:20). Jesus’ ardor for his bride is infinitely greater than Jacob’s. Jesus didn’t grouse and grumble about coming for her; he rejoiced, even though it meant he’d endure infinite pain.

Every believer is a part of Christ’s bride. As Jesus delights in his bride, he delights in every believer individually. If you have trusted in him as your Savior and God, he regards you with fondness, affection and pleasure. This love originated in the Father’s heart and his own heart in eternity past and has nothing to do with anything desirable in you. He simply loved you with an everlasting love. Then he redeemed you with his blood, and clothed you in the bridal gown of his righteousness. And now as his bride, he yearns for you and rejoices over you.

As Jesus delights in his bride, he delights in every believer individually.

Do you believe Jesus sees you this way? He does. He cherishes you. He’s glad he redeemed you. He can’t wait for you to see his glory and be with him face to face. He eagerly looks forward to the marriage feast of the Lamb, when your fellowship with him will be complete and unhindered.

Meditate on Jesus’ cherishing love for you. Doing so will produce gladness in your heart, love for Jesus, and anticipation of heaven.

O Jesus, thank you for your tender, affectionate, cherishing love for me. I love you and delight in you, and want to love you even more.

Mark Altrogge

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.

2 comments

  • For a long time now I have felt that God is disappointed with me, hates me and doesn’t want anything to do with me. Because I have fallen into grievous, heinous, repetitive, and habitual sin over and over and over I doubt whether I’m truly a Christian. I hear from many pastors that a true Christian will not commit habitual sin. I felt like I put myself into a pit so deep for a long time now that God will restore me or lift me out of it. My heart has grown cold, dull, and hard. Right now I feel hopeless. I’m so hopeless I’m losing the will to live.

  • (Sorry for the poor formatting – I couldn’t figure out how to separate the paragraphs, etc)

    Brian, I believe you are a true Christian. First of all, I believe this because an unbeliever wouldn’t be concerned as to whether he was a true Christian or not. An unbeliever would probably hate the consequences of his sin, but he would not be concerned about his heart growing cold, dull and hard. An unbeliever would not care if God would lift him out of the pit and an unbeliever would not be concerned if God would “restore” him back to a relationship with God.

    I believe that Scripture warns us that believers can commit habitual sin. Believers don’t have to sin, and God will give us his Spirit and the power to overcome sin and put it to death. He gives us promises and warnings in his Word, prayer, and fellow believers to help us not sin. But if we neglect these things, we can not only commit sin, but become enslaved again. More on this later.

    But first I want to encourage you to call upon Jesus to help you. He longs to help you. He is just waiting for you to ask him to help you.

    God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. PS 46.1

    Jesus will even help us when we feel we have little faith:

    Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

    Jesus healed the child despite the father feeling he struggled to believe. Jesus will help us if we come to him and call out to him.

    When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. PS 91.15

    and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me. PS 50.15

    Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. HEB 4.16

    Jesus is waiting to help you. Call out to him. Ask him to help you hate sin. Ask him to deliver you from temptation and give you the fear of the Lord. Also, confess your sins to the Lord and he will forgive you. He’s just waiting to forgive you.

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 JN 1.9

    Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. PS 28.13

    I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. PS 32.5

    Very often it is helpful to confess our sins to others and ask them to pray for us.

    Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. JA 5.16

    Now as to whether a genuine Christian can commit habitual sin. We don’t have to sin, but we can. God’s will is that we regularly put sin to death. But we can sow to the flesh. If we aren’t vigilant and if we fail to pursue Jesus regularly in his word, prayer, and fellowship, we become more susceptible to temptation and the deception of the enemy and the desires of our flesh.

    A Christian in Corinth fell into habitual sin.

    1It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. 2And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.
    3For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. 4When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. 1 CO 5.1-5

    Paul didn’t say, “Well, if this man is doing this he must not be a Christian.” No, Paul said, to deliver him to Satan that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. Unbelievers are already delivered over to Satan. You can’t deliver a non-Christian over to Satan; they already belong to him.

    I would recommend that you read and meditate on Romans 6 because it addresses this problem. It says in Christ we have been freed from the dominion of sin, but if we present ourselves to sin and practice it, we can become enslaved to it – as believers. Here are a few verses:

    6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

    8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
    11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

    15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? RO 6.6-16

    In Christ we are no longer slaves of sin but if we present ourselves to sin, we can become slaves again. In fact I have known genuine believers who fell into sin even for significant periods of time. And I know believers who fell into serious sin, then Jesus pulled them out of it, which I believe he will do for you.

    So, Brian, I believe you are a genuine Christian. It sounds like you have become enslaved to sin. But Jesus can free you from that slavery. His arm is not too short to save. Nothing is too difficult for the Lord.

    If you have a pastor or godly Christian you can trust, I’d suggest you go to them and confess your sins and ask them to pray for you. I would also be willing to talk with you and pray for you. You can email me at mvaltrogge@gmail.com or message me on Facebook.

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