"For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs." (Zephaniah 3.17, NLT)
I love the NLT translation of this verse. It sounds and almost feels poetic to me. God is living among us. How freaking cool is that?! No longer are we like the Israelites in the Old Testament where God was set apart from them. God dwelt in the holiest of holies, sure, but only the high priests were allowed to enter that part of the temple. But now? Look out, world! God lives and moves in each believer. He speaks to us and through us to ourselves and one another. We no longer need a mediator in the form of a high priest one sinful man after another…we have the ultimate, sinless, perfect Mediator in God's Son Who practically throws His arm around our shoulders and ushers us before our Father in true cool fashion. It's like He's saying, "It's okay, Dad, they're with Me." Gahhh, how awesome is that?!
HE TAKES DELIGHT
And He is a mighty Savior. I've yet to hear of one circumstance that God could not redeem. And that's because one doesn't exist! No situation, no emotion, no fear, no thought is bigger than God. No person is bigger than God. He's not only a mighty Savior, He's the mighty Savior! And He's the kind of Savior that takes delight in us. I mean, really, us?? Have you looked at us recently? We're a bunch of scheduled-up, excuse-ridden, exhausted, barely-holding-any-of-it-together hairballs who are getting by with a little help from our friends and a whole lot of help from Jesus. Yet, He takes delight in us! He takes delight in our messes because we're His messes. (I don't mean messes as in "sin," but as in our scheduled-up, excuse-ridden, yada yada yada.) He takes delight in us because we were made in His image. He takes delight in us because although we fail constantly, we strive to live like He did…and thank the Lord Jesus is a hopeful romantic about us like that.
Did you catch that fear part? "With His love, He will calm all your fears." All of them. Every single one. He will calm them. He will lay them to rest. He will put them where they ought to be. And He'll do it with His love because "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…" (1 John 4.18) I've said it before and I'll say it until the breath is gone from my lungs…God is bigger than your fear. He gets the final say. He can tell your fear when to leave and where to go. But we have to let Him have it. We have to let go of those fears. Why hold on to something that is doing nothing but holding us back? Why not live the life we've only dreamed of living?
A SONG FOR US
Have you ever had someone write a song for you? Even though I haven't I can tell you, if I did, so long as it was a good one and not one about someone hating me (you know, T. Swift style) I'm pretty sure it would bring me joy more than just about anything else, especially during those not-so-happy days. And here God is, ready and willing to sing over you and me, to serenade us with new songs simply because we're His. Now that would be a song I'd add to my crappy-day playlist for sure.