Silence for 2-5 minutes:
If your mind wanders, silently pray a simple prayer again and again, such as, "I surrender to your love" or "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me" until the Holy Spirit gives you a sense of peace and focus.
For the director of music. Of David the servant of the Lord. He sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said:
1 I love you, Lord, my strength.
2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies. 4 The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. 5 The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. 7 The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry. 8 Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. 9 He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. 10 He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. 11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him— the dark rain clouds of the sky. 12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightning. 13 The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. 14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them. 15 The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, Lord, at the blast of breath from your nostrils.
16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. 17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. 18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. 19 He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
In Psalm 18, David is recounting the most significant victory of his entire life. God had protected him and rescued him from the hand of Saul again and again and had exalted this unknown shepherd boy to be king over all of Israel. Why did God do this? Because God delights in David. This is the squeal of joy of a little child who knows just how special they are to their mother and father. It is David’s cry of elation to the God who delights in His children.
I think we have trouble believing that God delights in us. We see our own sinfulness, failings and inadequacies and they pound us into the ground. We project onto God the disappointments that we feel from others and from ourselves. Why would God delight in us? It makes no sense.
Grace is the foundation stone of God’s delight in us. We overcome our doubts about God’s delight in us by realizing that when the Father looks at us, He looks at us through the lens of His Son Jesus. Because of the blood shed on the cross, we are purer than a newborn baby. Because of the work of Christ, we are more delighted in than the most beautiful bride on her wedding day.
John writes in 1 John 4:16, “ And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.” John has learned to rely not on his love for God, but God’s love for him. Knowing that God loves us, no matter our condition can help us believe in a God who delights in us as well.
Think of the person you delight in the most. Then, believe that your delight is but a minute shadow of God’s exponential delight in you.
Lord, I often need rescue in this life. There are many calamities that befall me, and you are my only hope. Help me to believe that your rescue will always come because you delight in me. Your delight in me causes me to delight in You, the source of all joy and delight! Amen.