“For the LORD delights in his people; he crowns the humble with victory” (Psalm 149:4, NLT).

The world seems to have a problem viewing God from the right perspective. Perhaps because of stories in the Old Testament of God’s anger toward the Israelites and their subsequent punishment, or of the seemingly callous destruction of many pagan tribes, many people see him as mean and judgmental. On the other side are the images of a meek and mild Jesus, holding children and lambs, and figures such as Santa Claus, jolly, laughing and handing out presents. In true human fashion, we can’t seem to find the balanced middle ground.

Everything God is and does comes out of who he is: love. We can’t equate his wrath and judgments to ours because ours aren’t based in love. His blessings and gifts are more extravagant and wonderful than any we might give. And here is what most people don’t understand at all: even with all our problems, our sin and mistreatment of others, he still loves us. He loved us enough to become a human and die at our hands so we can live forever with him. He even delights in us, the same way a mother and father delight in their children, which gives us a whole new perspective on who he is—our delighted, loving father.