Monday, October 1, 2012

He Rejoices Over Us

Dear Readers,

No words can describe how happy I am to be able to write for you today!  Since my last entry was published in June, my life has been, shall we say...a beautiful mess.  There have been extraordinarily beautiful moments where God touched me in a powerful way (while I was smiling), and there have been extraordinarily painful moments where God touched me in a powerful way (while I was crying).  I can honestly report that I am thankful for the full spectrum of beauty and pain I have experienced this summer, because each vivid moment spent with God has made me stronger.  Jesus is so good!

And now, to dive into our pressing subject matter: US.  No, I am not talking about the slang abbreviation for our wayward country...I am referring to YOU.  Me.  We.  Humans saved by God’s grace…and delighted in by our divine Father. 

Here I have documented some of your likely initial reactions:

1) Huh?

2) Ha-ha.

3) Heresy!

4) Hmm, I’d rather not…

If you find you are somewhere in between, or that you are a bit of each: good.  That means I’m not alone! 

Standing straight, palms facing up, head bowed down, I prayed in earnest:

Dear God, I am such a sinner…so wretched before You…how can You love a person as messed up as I am?  Just tell me what You want me to do, and I’ll do it!

And although I was immersed in a sea of Jesus-worshippers, I felt almost as solitary as if I were completely alone.  I was at a church conference for teenagers, waiting for God to reveal Himself to me in a new way…and during the first few worship songs (which were really like corporate prayer sessions), it didn't seem like God would ever show up.

Then came the song “Mighty Fortress,” and my whole world began to shift a bit:

Like a mighty fortress, He is our God
Like a mighty fortress, He is our God
When enemies surround us, rising like a flood
They break into pieces, swallowed in dust

At this point of the song, everything for me was fine, normal…it is the next stanza that really sent me into a spiritual tailspin:

He rejoices
He rejoices over us

The rest of the song is awesome, and I really gelled with the lyrics in worship…but the phrase “He rejoices over us” made me cringe a little every time it was used, evoking a simultaneous “Heresy!” and “Hmm, I’d rather not…” reaction in my gut.  I was disturbed by the fact that many of the other worshippers around me loved this part of the song.  Smiles flashed and eyes shined.  Some worshippers even danced.  I ducked my head down and sort of apologized to God for the selfish assertion.  You may think at this point that I was merely being humble, but what I was really experiencing was a sense of deep, crippling unworthiness that’s root was not exactly grounded in Truth. In fact, focusing on one’s inability to serve God reflects a lack of faith, and an excess of fear. 

Consider, for example, the story of Moses in the Bible.  God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, and his response to God was that he was "not capable."  While Moses did not seem to struggle so much with unworthiness as He did with fear of man, the concept is similar: Moses focused more on his weakness than he did on God's power to use him despite his shortcomings.  If we really desire to serve God, we must see and understand Him as He truly is--all-powerful, graceful, and loving--and not as our feelings dictate.  If God's Word says that God is the One who makes those faithful to Him worthy (2 Thessalonians 1:11), then who are we to say we are unworthy?  After all, God knows us better than anyone else, including ourselves (Psalm 139)!

If you still don’t understand what was wrong with my reaction, consider for a moment the fact that we are called sons and daughters of God (2 Corinthians 6:18).  Now imagine that your biological dad asks you to help him partake in a community outreach.  You feel so unworthy to help your dad minister to the community that you require him to tell you what to do step by step, and apologize for your lack of proficiency in completing the tasks he gives you every time you trip up, or even for no reason at all.  Your dad would probably be more frustrated than flattered by your dependency, and consequently try to teach you to be more independent.  You and He would still be a team by necessity, but you would have to learn to take more initiative, to take leaps of faith…and to not be so afraid to mess up that you choose to not do anything to help at all.  In short, you would learn to co-labor with your father.

Zephaniah 3:17 declares,

"The LORD your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”

Honestly, the thought of God rejoicing over me is still very overwhelming, and I still will often bow my head down low when I hear the phrase “He rejoices over us,” but now I smile, because I know that my identity as His daughter makes that statement 100% correct.  He does not revel in my sinfulness, but in the victory that He foresees in my life.

In Jeremiah 29:11 God promises,

"I know the plans I have for you...They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

And in Philippians 1:7, Paul asserts,

"I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."


Ardently Yours,


  1. very true. God is our Heavenly Father who rejoices over us, because we are His creation! He loves to see us grow, he tries to help us when we're not, He searches for us when we're lost :) He loves us...He lives for us...He even died for us. Great writing Megan :)

    1. that was me, Josi...somehow on Lindsay's google account?

  2. Wow! What a thought... God really rejoices over us! If only I remembered that all the time I think my outlook on the difficult times in life would be different.

  3. This is really good Nutmeg. I love to watched vigilantly as god reveals himself to you, and glean from your wisdom and understanding.