Today I met my wife for dinner. It had been a long day for both of us, so we decided to meet at a restaurant instead of me coming home first to pick her up. I got to the restaurant first, and was seated next to a big window looking out on the parking lot.
Suzy pulled up about five minutes later, got out of her car, and started walking to the restaurant. I had been looking at all sorts of people walking past, young and old, men and women. Some of the women I saw were attractive and all that. But as soon as I saw Suzy, my heart just instinctively kind of "leaped" in my chest. It was cool. It was like, "Oh, there's my bride, my best friend! I love that woman like no other. She stands out from the rest. She's special. She's my sweetheart." I wasn't thinking those exact words, but that was the feeling I had. You might say I "rejoiced" over her. I rejoiced over knowing her, being her husband, being connected to her like I'm connected to no one else in the universe. I admired her, felt attracted to her, wanted to be next to her, liked her.
Oh, and dinner was OK too.
Later tonight I got to thinking . . . maybe for that fraction of a moment, when my heart leaped toward my wife, I felt a little bit of the love God feels toward us.
Isaiah 62:5 says, "As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you." There it is in the Scriptures. God rejoices over you. You stand out to Him. You are one of the many people who make up His prized possession, the Church. Yet you in your individuality are special to Him. He likes you. When He looks at you He smiles. He's pleased with you. You're more than His child, you're His bride. His heart leaps when He sees you. The prophet Zephaniah says He takes great delight in you and rejoices over you with singing (Zeph. 3:17).
How can this be? It's because if you've trusted in Jesus, He has traded His righteousness for your sin. You're forgiven, washed, cleansed of your sins, and clothed in the righteousness of Christ. God is satisfied. More than satisfied . . . He's in love with you.
I sound like I'm talking to you like a preacher, but I'm really preaching the gospel to myself. I forget this truth everyday. I start thinking God is displeased with me because of how I blow it all the time. I start feeling abandoned by God, guilty, and like I have to do something to get back in God's favor. That's a lie. As I rejoice over my wife, so my God rejoices over me.