To listen to the answer recorded live on Moody Radio, click here.
We worship a relational God; He loves, he weeps, he cares, he uplifts, he comforts, and he sacrifices for us. He has also created us all as relational beings to become more like Him in the way we love and live out His plan for our lives. No doubt that He is more than pleased when we love and spend time with Him and love and serve others. Scripture is full of many of those things that bring Him pleasure. Here are a few that are pertinent to all of us who believe.
- God takes pleasure in His plan of salvation and in His Son Jesus Christ. “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,” (Colossians 1:19). Jesus was God in human flesh, and it was through Him that provided a way to save sinners. God delights in what He has accomplished through Jesus, and He wants people to accept and celebrate His gift. Isaiah 53:10 says, “But the Lord was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.” The Father wasn’t happy to see Jesus suffer and die, but He delighted in His obedience, knowing the good it would do for all mankind.
- God takes pleasure in seeing sinners repent. Some people are convinced that God is cruel and unforgiving, even enjoying seeing people die. The Bible paints a different picture. Ezekiel 18:23 says, “‘Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,’ declares the Lord God, ‘rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?’” God is just to pour out His wrath on the wicked and judge the unjust; He also wants everyone to repent because of His great patience and love. He wants all people to come to know Him, but He will not force their hand. “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7)
- God takes pleasure in those who are His own (Psalm 149:4). God refers to those who belong to Him as the apple of His eye (Psalm17:8). “Commit yourself to the Lord; let Him deliver him; Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him”(Psalm 22:8). The righteous win in the end, and God will keep this promise because He adores His own and is always eternally and abundantly fair and generous with them.
- God takes great pleasure in seeing believers grow in holiness as He works in their hearts to make them more like Himself. Philippians 2:13, “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” God delights in seeing believers walk by faith as His grace empowers them. Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, And He delights in his way.”
What then does this mean to us on a practical level? God has called us to go into the world and love others by sharing the Good News of what His Son did for all through his death and resurrection of Jesus. It is God’s call to us to be obedient, and that gives Him great pleasure. What is more exciting than pleasing God, and living our lives as lights to a dying world? We cannot be silent about Jesus. We need to have the heart of Isaiah as he said, “Here I am Lord, send me!”