When God Smiles

The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.      Psalm 147:11

How children smile when their parents spend time with them! It means a lot to feel that they are valued. Likewise, the children of God rejoice when they realize the Lord delights in His people, those who reverence Him and hope in His love in Christ (Ephesians 1:5-9).  

However, His children can become so preoccupied with trying to please their Heavenly Father in the tasks they do that they forget that faith is what truly gives Him pleasure. “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Though you may feel concerned that God loves you less when your actions are less than perfect, His love never changes. The Lord loves you so much that He sent His Holy Spirit to help you in your struggles (Romans 8:26). When things go awry, the Lord does not turn His back on you but reaches out His hand to assist you. 

Picture Jesus extending His hand to you. And what is that on His face? A smile. He is glad when you come to Him in repentance with a hopeful, confident heart. “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” (Hebrews 4:16).   

Ask your Father for help in these difficult times, for you, your loved ones, and the citizens and officials of the United States. God also takes pleasure in a country that will fear Him and hope in His steadfast love (Psalm 33:12, 144:15). Pray for the turning of the nation, as a whole, back to Him. 

Today’s Verse: Psalm 147:11

but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, 
    in those who hope in his steadfast love. 

All Scripture quotations and audio are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Recommended for further reading: Romans 8:31-39

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, 

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; 
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

All Scripture quotations and audio are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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