God Delights in You!

Bible Reading: Jeremiah 33:10-13; 30; 31:1-26

Is there any sin so grievous that God cannot or will not forgive? Many believe there is, and that they have committed it. Every time something goes wrong, they tell themselves they're just getting what they deserve because of their past. Yet, no punishment ever feels great enough. They always fear that the worst is yet to come. They feel like they must do something more to pay for their sin or to somehow fix their past. Though they can easily apply God's grace to anyone else, they struggle to believe that Jesus' blood would cover their worst sins. Unable to imagine that Jesus (or anyone else who really knew them) could feel any differently about them than they do, they tend to beat themselves up emotionally, punish and neglect themselves, and constantly condemn themselves.

It sounds like God agrees with them: "Your wound is incurable, your injury beyond healing. There is no one to plead your cause, no remedy for your sore, no healing for you.... I have struck you as an enemy would and punished you as would the cruel, because your guilt is so great and your sins so many. Why do you cry out over your wound, your pain that has no cure? Because of your great guilt and many sins I have done these things to you" (30:12-15).

God agrees that no human remedy exists for our "great guilt and many sins." That is why we need him! Yet, immediately after establishing our hopeless condition, he declares, "But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds" (30:17)! When we confess our sin (yes--even "that" sin) to God and accept his gift of grace, he forgives our unforgivable sin, cures our incurable guilt, and restores our broken relationship with him.

God hears us when we cry out, "You disciplined me like an unruly calf, and I have been disciplined. Restore me, and I will return, because you are the Lord my God. After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth" (31:18-19).

Though we may still be mad at ourselves, God is no longer angry. He responds to our anguish with compassion: "Is not [your name] my dear daughter, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against her, I still remember her. Therefore my heart yearns for her; I have great compassion for her" (31:20 adapted).

God delights in his children! Though he often disapproves of our behavior, he is quick to forgive, without holding a grudge. He is no longer concerned with the failures of our past. Just as we wouldn't want our children to hate themselves for past mistakes, God doesn't want us to beat ourselves up for sins he forgave long ago. If we, as mere humans, can love and forgive our own children, even forgetting their misdeeds, how much more can God truly "forgive and forget" out of a heart filled with love?

God "will remember their sins no more" (Jer. 31:34), not because he has a faulty memory, but because he is a compassionate father who delights in his relationship with his children. Desiring to restore and rebuild, he chooses not to dwell on our mistakes. "I, yes, I alone am he who blots away your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again" (Is. 43:25 LB). "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt" (31:3-4).

Are you not his dear daughter, the child in whom he delights? He has forgotten your sin, but he has not forgotten you. His heart yearns for you. With great compassion and everlasting love, he is reaching out to you. Let yourself fall into the waiting arms of his warm embrace.