ODJ: Happy at You

October 26, 2016 

READ: Isaiah 49:8-23 

See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands (v.16).

My 3-year-old daughter caught me staring at her. “Mommy, why are you looking at me like that?” “Because I love you and delight in you,” I said. “God looks at you that way too.” “You mean, God looks happy at me?” she earnestly inquired. “Yes!” I said. “God always looks happy at you,” I emphasized. “Then I look happy at Jesus, at you, at daddy, and [my] sisters,” she concluded. When she finished, I think she could see me beaming with happiness. I want my three daughters to know deep down that God delights in them and loves them “with an everlasting love” (Psalm 37:23, 149:4; Jeremiah 31:3).

When we’re going through extreme difficulties—things that threaten to overwhelm us—it can be natural to wonder if God cares. If God loves me, why is He letting this happen? we wonder. Or if we have unanswered prayers and are yearning to hear a good word from God, but do not, we may question His goodness toward us. I know I have. And while I have no satisfying answer to the problem of evil in the world or to unanswered prayer, I’m convinced God loves us and delights in us.

In Isaiah 49:15-16 God reveals His loving heart toward His children: “Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.” The people may have felt “deserted” due to oppression (v.14), but He promised, “Those who trust in me will never be put to shame” (v.23).

When God’s love for us moves from head knowledge into the depths of our very being, it transforms us. Knowing God’s character and that we’re His beloved sons and daughters elicits trust from us even during the darkest of nights.

—Marlena Graves

365-day plan: Acts 11:19-29

Reflect on Psalm 23:6. What does it tell you about God’s love and goodness? 
Do you know deep down that God loves you dearly? How will you revel in happiness as you consider this truth today?