“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3: 16-17 NIV)
Zephaniah was a minor prophet to the nation of Israel. He foretold the Lord’s judgment on Judah and Jerusalem, and the destruction of the neighboring nations. But there was a hint of hope, even among the gloom. Even in the midst of the pain and suffering, God’s intention was not to destroy His people. God promised to bring His people home.
I love the picture that comes to mind of God being “mighty to save”. It tells me that no matter what is going on, regardless of how tough the situation seems and how hopeless I become, He is ready and able– kind of like a comic book hero—except He is God! How much more awesome is that?!!!
Many times we see the trials and sufferings of our lives as messages from God that he is ‘angry’, that He is out to get us, He is mad at us, and the whole slippery slope of negative thinking that comes with that thought process. But there is a soft, loving side of God that we fail to see when we are so busy shielding our eyes from what we perceive as His anger. He seeks us out, purifies us and calls us to himself in a way that is so gentle and so loving, so intimate. He shapes us and molds us to become just as Himself. And that process is oftentimes very painful. Sometimes it is in the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, the end of a relationship we thought would last forever.
Rest assured that God’s pans for you are good plans, plans to prosper you, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). He is slow to anger, but abounds in mercy (Number 14:18). And He loves you so much; as far as the east is from the west.