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.