I don’t remember a time when my father ever told me he was proud of me, let alone “well-pleased” with me. I suspect he told his friends of my worldly success because I heard him brag to his friends about my other siblings. His seven kids were his braging right. For some reason, he wasn’t comfortable letting us kids know directly that he was proud of us.
That could be why all seven of my siblings pursued music and attempted to be the best in the band. As we grew older, to some degree we became work-a-holics. When none of that worked, we attempted to drown our feelings of failure in one of a number unhealthy devices.
I can’t speak for my other siblings, but the feeling that I could not please my earthly father caused me to wonder if I could ever please my heavenly Father who I was convinced expected much more from me.
But, it is a mistake to compare our perfect Heavenly Father to our flawed earthly father or anyone else.
God is the perfect example of all of His attributes. God’s attribute of love is the perfect definition of love. Jesus apostle John wrote, “God is love (1 John 4:7-8).” The love of God is not an emotion, it is an action. God the Father demonstrated perfect love when He gave up His only Son to be crucified and die for us as we were still sinners. To learn how to love all you need to do is study the life of Jesus.
God’s love gives freely to the object of His affection. Those who choose to follow His son Jesus are the recipients of His perfect example of paternal love. When Jesus started his earthly ministry, before he taught large crowds and performed great miracles, God the Father’s heart overflowed with love, affirmation, and approval for him.
Luke records the Father’s affirmation in this Scene. “One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized. As he was praying, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy (Luke 3:21-22 LASBNLT).”
The affirmation was not for what Jesus had done or what he was about to do. God’s affirmation was given to Jesus because Jesus is God’s beloved Son. That alone is pleasing to God.
If you have accepted the free gift of God’s grace through Jesus, you too are a dearly loved son or daughter of God the Father. That fact alone brings God great joy.
Let the Father speak those words to you. “You are my beloved son (or daughter), in whom I am well pleased.” He is pleased with you not for what you have done but for who you are in Christ Jesus. Let those words sink into your heart and embrace the joy of being a son or daughter of the Creator of the Universe.