The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
(Zephaniah 3:17 ESV)
These past two years have been difficult, haven’t they? So many of us are hurting. As Christ-followers, we share in these common sufferings: sickness, financial concerns, workplace problems, relational turmoil, and the list seems to go on and on.
Recently I was comforting a woman who could not seem to move past relational hurt. I knew the details of her pain and had prayed for her many times over.
Yes, but it still hurts! How do I move forward if the pain will not leave even though I have forgiven her? she asked.
I encouraged her to pray Scripture, to memorize Scripture, and to willfully renew her mind with reading truth from God’s Word.
After a few weeks she called me, excited.
I now understand! God is teaching and comforting me, she said happily.
Her circumstances were yet tender, painful, but she was feasting on Zephaniah 3:17, and the goodness of God.
Sometimes it is helpful to remind ourselves that our specific pain holds a deep, sovereign purpose. We are sharing in the sufferings of Jesus, and we therefore hurt with hope, knowing that God is working behind the scenes, gently shaping us into the image of His Son, burning off our rough and stubborn edges as He prepares us for heaven.
Matthew Henry’s commentary of Zephaniah 3 states: What makes a people holy, will make them happy.
Isn’t that wonderfully true?
Our trials are making us holy, as we press into God with faith.
As we fill our minds with Scripture, we are graced with a renewed mindset. Our circumstances might remain bleak from an earthly perspective, but we are tenderly reminded that God is there, hearing our cries as He guides us along the narrow path, safely to our heavenly home.
Listen again to Zephaniah’s words:
The Lord your God is in your midst.
(He is with you, always.)
A mighty one who will save;
(Christian, you are His for eternity.)
He will rejoice over you with gladness;
(God is joyful and glad to have created you.)
He will quiet you with his love;
(During our cries and groanings as we suffer on earth, we may have peaceful, quiet spirits as we remember God loves us.)
He will exult over you with loud singing.
(Our Holy Creator will show triumphant elation over us, singing His joy.)
Take heart, fellow believer. Even though our days are frequently dotted with trials, you may remember the truths of Zephaniah 3:17 and be renewed.