One of the most significant and pressing questions we are constantly asking, even if subconsciously, is, “What does God think about me?” Or, “How does God see me,” “What is God’s disposition or heart or affections towards me?”
And our answer to this question has massive implications, affecting our sense of identity and worth, influencing our emotions and motivations, and leading us to think, speak and act in certain ways.
And as we saw in our study through Zephaniah this past week, God is either for us to such a degree that it seems unbelievable, not what we would expect from God (“he will rejoice over you with gladness…will exult over you with loud singing”), or he will finally be against us to such a degree that it is nothing less than terrifying (“In the fire of his jealousy, all the earth shall be consumed”).
How are we to respond to this? Our tendency is to respond in one of two ways. One is to temper these extremes and think that God is mild in his affections towards us. Yes, he loves us, but his love is not that comforting. Yes, he prefers people to turn to him, but most people are basically good and he’ll take that into account, even if they reject him.
A second tendency is to think that he oscillates back and forth between anger and love, based on how we’re doing or feeling. And so our lives are an unpredictable and all-consuming roller coaster, as our confidence and assurance and joy and peace continually rise and fall.
But this is not where God leads us in his word. He is not mild or tempered in his disposition towards us. Neither is he fickle and uncontrolled in his emotions. We aren’t left guessing how he will respond to us, how he will be towards us.
No, all of Scripture drives us to Jesus. In God’s eternal providence, it is our relationship to Jesus that is all-determinative. In Jesus and in him alone, we find the fullness of grace and forgiveness, a new identity as God’s beloved child, and assurance in his joyful, singing heart and disposition towards us.
There is no middle option. Either we come to Jesus, or we refuse him.
If we are in Christ—have sought refuge in him, have turned to him in humble faith, have been given the Spirit and reborn—he sings and rejoices over us. He is with us and for us for our good.
And even when we sin, he is with us and for us, fighting against our sin with us, not waiting for us to get it together. Our position isn’t put on hold every time we sin or struggle or feel weak.
No, to those who call on the name of the Lord–and he invites all to call on him–there is assurance that God’s disposition is one of abounding love and delight towards them.