It is my experience (personal and with others) that it is a difficult thing for Christians to think of themselves as beloved by God, and that our Heavenly Father delights in us. Yes, delights in us. But that is exactly how God moves toward us, in love and delight. Tim Keller reflects:
“Have you heard God’s blessing in your inmost being? Are the words “You are my beloved child, in whom I delight” an endless source of joy and strength?“Have you heard God’s blessing in your inmost being? Are the words “You are my beloved child, in whom I delight” an endless source of joy and strength?
Have you sensed, through the Holy Spirit, God speaking them to you? That blessing – the blessing through the Spirit that is ours through Christ – is what Jacob received, and it is the only remedy against idolatry. Only that blessing makes idols unneccesary.
As with Jacob, we usually discover this only after a life of ‘looking for blessing in all the wrong places.’ It often takes an experience of crippling weakness for us to finally discover it. That is why so many of the most God-blessed people limp as they dance for joy.”
– Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods (New York, NY: Penguin Group, 2009), 164.
(HT: Of First Importance)