The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
Introduction – The book of Zephaniah was written to warn of impending judgment on Judah. In the midst of the doom however, the book ends with a promise of restoration, forgiveness and blessing. As the book comes to a close, we find the powerful statement mentioned above in chapter 3 verse 17. From this verse we can glean the following 4 encouraging truths.
1. The Lord is among His people
What a comfort it is to know that God is with His people even in the most challenging circumstances. Grab a hold of that fact without allowing your feelings and your circumstances to control you. He is the One who said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
One of the most trying periods of my life was in my mid-twenties, when I was afflicted by a serious spine ailment. The only remedy offered was spinal surgery. In the midst of the darkness I felt at that time, God’s presence broke through, His assurance surrounded me and His power healed me.
The Lord is always with His people even though we may not feel like it at times.
2. He takes delight in you
Today many people are battling an identity crisis. They struggle with rejection, feeling unloved, low self esteem and a sense of unworthiness. The situation worsens when we go through regular failures.
What is your condition today? Unloved? Rejected? Feeling worthless? Does it seem like everything you touch turns to tears as was sung by The Shacklefords many years ago?
If so, the good news is that God takes great delight in you. In fact, man is God’s supreme creation. The Bible says that God knows you by name, you are His prized possession and that He takes great delight in you. Would you rather believe your feelings, others opinions, or the truth of God’s word?
The latter part of Zephaniah 3:17 further adds to this thought by saying that “He will rejoice over you with singing”. Isn’t it amazing that the living, Creator God sings over us with joy?
3. He is mighty to save
When we trust Jesus, His resurrection power works in us. That power can deliver and save us from every attack of the evil one. No power on earth and no demon in hell can overcome you when God is on your side.
If I were walking down a dark alley and two strong men were waiting to overpower and rob me, it wouldn’t be too difficult for them since I am not a strongly built person. However if we re-enact the same situation, this time with the Heavyweight boxing champion of the world walking by my side, the end result will be changed completely.
How much more secure we are when Jesus, the living Savior, dwells in us!! He is mighty to save.
4. With His love He will calm (quiet) you
In a world filled with stress God gives His children true and lasting peace. It is a peace that passes human understanding (Philippians 4:7). Have you noticed how people generally speak fast and loud when they are excited or facing a sudden crisis? That’s exactly the time that God can bring His calmness into our life. He hears your every cry.
No matter how large a crowd may be around, a mother always hears the voice and the cry of her child. She rushes in to embrace, comfort and calm the troubled child. How much more would God bring His calmness to us, who are His children. In fact, the Bible says that even though a mother may forget her child, He will not forget us. (Read Isaiah 49:15)
In the midst of the personal challenge mentioned under point 1, it was only the peace of God that sustained me through 25 days of hospitalization, heavy and discomforting traction (sandbags) on both legs, negative words spoken by many people and what seemed like an uncertain future.