God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, take your pick, none of them are proud of me.
They love me. Sometimes I even kind of believe they like me. But proud of me?
Come on now. Are you serious?
I know I’m supposed to just believe that kind of stuff because, after all, I’m a pastor, and I should know more than anyone else that God is proud of me.
And you know what, I do ‘know’ it (head), I’m just not sure I really fully ‘know’ it (heart), because when a friend hugged me on Sunday after my sermon and said, “I felt like Jesus just wants you to know he is so proud of you,” I chuckled on the inside.
I literally said to myself, “No, you’re mistaken. God is NOT proud of me”.
Don’t you mean he loves me? Because that’s easier for me to believe. Of course he loves me. He loves everybody so he has to love me.
What about He likes me? I could see that too. He’s a nice and friendly guy. Also heard he’s slow to anger which means he probably can tolerate my crabbiness.
But he’s proud of me? Like proud of me as a son? Like I’m proud of my daughter? Like the charismatic dad who can’t stop yelling “that’s my boy” every time his son makes a free throw at a basketball game?
He actually looks at me and smiles?
He actually accepts my crappy gifts with delight?
He actually delights in me?
He actually is proud of the work that is happening in my heart?
Yeah. That is hard to believe.
So, Jesus, if you don’t mind, I’d like the gospel combo with extra large sides of grace, mercy and love without you being proud of me.
Is that possible? Can you ask the chef if he can whip that up specially for me?
I can’t claim I’ve fully received grace without believing Jesus is proud of me. I can’t look at the cross and only walk away with “He must generally love me” or “He kind of likes me.”
If he’s not proud of me then he’s not a good and perfect father.
If he’s not proud of me then I’m not fully forgiven and fully righteous in him.
If he’s not proud of me then Jesus’ work on the cross was not complete.
If God is not proud of me like I am of my daughter then I’m a better father than He is.
Man, just when I started to think I knew the gospel …
Just when I was beginning to think I’ve heard it a million times …
Just when I started to shake my head at the preacher because his gospel presentation wasn’t deep, someone tells me that Jesus is proud of me and I realize that my “I’ve heard it all because I grew up in church” resume is barely the equivalent of dipping my big toe in the unending ocean of Gods grace.
If you’re like me, it’s SO hard to believe, but I promise you it’s true. It has to be because of the cross.
God is 100 percent proud of you because of Jesus.
Is it hard for you to believe God is proud of you?