Dear Christian, God Likes You
In a TV show that my wife and I enjoy, two of the main characters fall in love. Surprising, I know. But what is unique is something that they repeatedly say to each other to express how they feel:
“I love you, and I like you.”
Within a biblical framework, we know that real love is a sacrificial commitment. Marriage is one of the most vivid pictures of that kind of love—the type of sacrificial commitment that Jesus enacted as he allowed nails to pierce his hands for those he would save.
In our relationships—especially between children and parents, love usually abounds. Parents would do anything for their children, and children then enjoy the safety of their parent’s care and protection—their sacrificial commitment.
But, what about the second part: “and I like you.” We normally say “I like you” in friendships or dating relationships when we mean “I enjoy being around you.” And for some of us, it’s harder to believe that someone likes us, than loves us.
“You really enjoy being around me?”
And in marriage, saying “I love you and I like you” communicates something vital to the Gospel.
See, from Genesis to Revelation, God proves his commitment to his people through partnerships, rescues, and patience. We know God loves his people (John 3:16, 1 John 4:10). But, does God like his people?
To answer that question, consider these verses:
Zephaniah 3:17: “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness.”
Psalm 147:11: “The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.”
Psalm 18:19: “He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.”
Isaiah 62:3-5: “You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.”
Let that last image in Isaiah 62 sink in: in a similar way that a groom is delights in his bride on their wedding way, God is delighted in his people. God actually likes his people. Always within the context of those who align themselves with God’s plan and purposes, these verses give Christians a unique picture into God’s heart.
Our lives can flood with joy, peace, and comfort knowing that God doesn’t just love us—he likes us. He enjoys us, and we are transformed by his love and delight. And New Creation will be the ultimate coming-together of God’s love and delight in his people—truly heaven.