As I’ve often said, A. W. Tozer is one of my favorite all-time authors. I love what he says here, and what I also love is that elsewhere He affirms God’s holiness, justice and wrath in uncompromising ways, then gives us this beautiful depiction of God’s love for His children, and His delight in us. We do not have to choose between God’s holiness and hatred for sin, on the one hand, and His joyful love and affection for us on the other. The Bible is emphatically clear on both. And appreciating His holiness, rather than minimizing it, makes his grace more amazing and His love for us all the more spectacular and enduring. Listen to Tozer:
God takes no pleasure in human tears. He came and wept that He might stop up forever the fountain of human tears. He came and bereaved His mother that He might heal all bereavement. He came and lost everything that He might heal the wounds that we have from losing things. And He wants us to take pleasure in Him. Let us put away our doubts and trust Him.
God wants to please you. He is pleased when you are His child, when you’re surrendered, when your will is His will and His will is yours, when you are not in rebellion and not seeking your own will. God loves to please His people.
Did you ever see a father bringing gifts to his children? Did you ever see a lover bringing gifts to his bride? He wants to please the people He loves, and the people that love Him. The idea that God must always make you miserable is not a biblical idea at all. Jesus Christ knew God and He suffered from the irritations and persecutions of the world, the bitterness of their polluted hearts. They made it hard for Him. But He was pleased with God and God was pleased with Him. “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). God can say that now to His people.
God isn’t pleased by your being miserable. He will make you miserable if you won’t obey, but if you’re surrendered and obedient, the goodness of God has so wrought through Jesus Christ that now He wants to please you. And He wants to answer your prayers so you will be happy in Him. He wants to do that. Let’s put away all doubts and trust Him…
Did you ever stop to think that God is going to be as pleased to have you with Him in heaven as you are to be there? The goodness and mercy of God, the loving kindness of the Lord—it’s wonderful! He can bring us into such a relationship with Him that He can please us without spoiling us. He pleases us, and He’s pleased when we’re pleased. And when we’re pleased with Him, He’s pleased.
One common joy we will share: “mine to be forever with Him, and His that I am there.” Thank God, thank God! Let us praise the lovingkindness of God forever, for of His goodness there is no end. Amen! Amen!
Tozer, A. W., & Fessenden, D. E., The Attributes of God, Volume 1: A Journey into the Father's Heart (Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread, 2003), 55-57
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Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries.