“Now this is what the LORD says – the one who created you, Jacob, and the one who formed you, Israel – Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name and you are mine. I will be with you… Because you are precious in my sight and honored, and I love you… Do not fear, for I am with you… Bring my sons from far away, and my daughters from the ends of the earth – everyone who bears my name and is created for my glory. I have formed them; indeed, I have made them.” (Isaiah 43)
Formed and Redeemed for Faith
Have you ever stopped to consider that the very fact that you exist is proof that God loves you? Out of an overflow of inter-Trinitarian love, God created. Before you were formed in your mother’s womb, God knew and loved you. He wove you together with care, intention, and purpose (Ps. 139:13-14). You, as His creation, are precious to Him (Is. 43:4). And yet somehow, we turned away from this God of love. The siren song of sin convinces us that we are starved of purpose, life, and love, and draws us away from this Creator who loves us (Prov. 5:1-14). The beauty that God built us with has been marred, stained, defiled by our own choice. His image in us, shattered.
But, in His kindness, God in Christ, has redeemed us and is reforming us. He has purchased us back. Now, when the siren song of sin calls to us we can say, “That’s not who I am anymore. You don’t get to tell me what my life is for. You don’t get to tell me what my future will be. I don’t have to worry about that. My Father said that He holds my future, that He defines my identity, that He will only do what’s best for me. Sure, I used to be that way, identify as that, or do those things. But that me has died. Now Christ lives in me, and I live my life by faith in the One who for my sake died and was raised (Gal. 2:20; 2 Cor. 5:14-15). Now, because of grace, God is my friend and my Father, not my enemy. I don’t have to be afraid.”
The Heart of The Father
And yet, we continue to sin (Rom. 7:15). And when we do, we doubt God’s gracious heart. We feel like God is distant from us in the aftermath of sin. Like we need to wait a couple of days before we really begin to interact with Him again or feel like we are on good terms with Him. We think we need to be cleaner and more put together than we are in order to really hear from God, in order to really feel His love. This reveals just how deep our pride and self-righteousness run, how much we really actually don’t believe in grace.
But, Beloved, the Father’s love for you really isn’t conditioned by your performance anymore. He knows you can’t do it, and because He is for you, and so overwhelmingly filled with kindness towards you, He gave His Son to perform for you. And now, His love continues to pursue you, even though we just can’t seem to quite settle into or understand it. The same Father who loved you enough to save you, is the One who loves you enough to keep loving you despite your continued failure. “For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, the how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life” (Romans 5:10). God loves high maintenance people. That’s the only kind there are. You are precious in His sight and He loves you.
God’s Promised Presence
Not only has God promised to forgive you of your sins through faith in Christ, He promises to be with you and in you (Lv. 26:12; Jr. 31L33; Jr. 32L38; Ezk. 37:26; Eph. 1:13-14; Luke 11:9-13). No matter where you go, no matter how dark, how full of deceit, how broken, how hard, or how painful your life is, God promises to be with you by His Holy Spirit. He will go to the heights of heaven, the depths of the sea, the ends of the earth, for you.
When you fail again, He is as with you as He’s ever been.
When you get the phone call you’ve always feared, He is as with you as He’s ever been.
When the suffering and trials He’s promised us do come, He is as with you as He’s ever been.
Surely, His goodness and mercy follow you. How could they not? He’s promised Himself to you forever. There won’t be a day, now, until the end of forever, that God won’t be with you.
Worship as Witness
In light of all of this love; God’s love in creating you, God’s love in redeeming you, God’s love in dwelling with and in you, how could you not sing? How could you not be a herald of good news? Those who have been forgiven much, love much. Love looks like inviting others into God’s love. Love looks like reminding the struggler of God’s steady love. Love looks like renewing our hope by calling to mind God’s love (Lamentations 3:23). Sing loudly, because the sound coming out of your mouth may just be what God uses to redeem a dead heart, revive a tired heart, and renew a broken heart.
“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it” (1Thessalonians 5:23-24)