The Power of a Song

Many of us understand the power of a song.

The emotions one can stir within you; the feeling that a lyric can leave within you; even the struggle that a listener can relate to…no matter what song does it for you, you can name the song and explain fully why it hits you in such a way.

I can name songs that have had that impact on me over the years…each for different reasons.

Some of those songs include:

“Speechless” by Steven Curtis Chapman
“On My Cross” by FFH
“Beautiful, Scandalous Night” by Smalltown Poets
“I Want to be That Man” by Brian Free and Assurance

I could go on and on about songs that have touched my heart and brought me to my knees in worship of our Creator the moment I heard them; songs that have completely said what my heart was saying at that moment and songs that were able to break through my walls to release things that had built up within me.

Recently, “Thy Will” by Hillary Scott became another in a long list of songs that hit me where I was, a song that born out of desperation and despair calls out to the One, True Healer for help in a time of tragedy.

Scott, in a recent interview, revealed that she wrote the song in a difficult time following a miscarriage.  She wrote the song from a moment of heart-break, but in that moment realized the only power she had was to call out to God and say, “Thy Will be Done.” Do you find yourself in moments of life trying to make sense of all the things going on in life? Do you find yourself trying to understand why something may be happening because it doesn’t go with the plans you had?

I found this song reminding me to cry out as Christ did in the garden, praying for God to take the cup of death away if He would, but finally crying out, “Not my will but yours be done.” Jesus knew that the only way to save us would be to complete the task that God had laid out…and we must realize that today.  God has a plan, and while sometimes it may not fit what we deem our plans, it is His plan.  When we realize this, true blessing will follow knowing that we will be taken care of and fully blessed by the moments, no matter how heartbreaking they may be.

Try to change your perspective today…take a moment to realize that God is doing great things within you and for you.  Take a moment to realize that you are a blessed child of God and that there is nothing that can separate you from his love.  The road you’re on may not be an easy one…there may be a bump or two in the way…you may have to struggle up a mountain or through a problem that seems never ending, but remember that right beside you is a savior who thought you were worth dying for.

Advertisements

Living in the Moment

Let’s face it…each of us deal with anxiety on some level, likely on a daily basis. I want to address this in a way that I think we can all learn from it.  God has plans for us that we get in the way of in many cases…

Jeremiah 33:1-3 says, “Moreover the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still shut up in the court of the prison, saying, “Thus says the LORD who made it, the LORD who formed it to establish it (the LORD is His name): ‘Call unto Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’”

We all go through difficult times, Jeremiah was in bondage as he experienced this in his life, yet he realized that God was in control…we face it daily, yet we forget to turn it over.  There are two things we can’t let dictate our lives…the ghosts of our past, and the fears of our future.

Many folks begin to get a brochure from the IRS that gives you an estimate of what you will have when you reach 67 or 70.  Maybe it has sparked worries of not having enough by the time you reach retirement…sometimes the Lord will check you and say, “Are you going to live 30 years in the future and worry, or will you trust Me to take care of you right now?”

The enemy hates for a believer to live in the moment with Jesus Christ; but that is what we must do!  Our past should no longer matter, it has happened and we can’t go back and change it…we have to let go of the situations we have faced and move forward. Our future is a story that has yet to be told, and we can learn from our past and make sure we do not repeat the same mistakes, but letting ourselves get into the mindset that we have ruined ourselves is something that only destroys us for the present…which is the moment we are in.

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:21 that “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God.” WOW! How wonderful is it that our sin has been paid in full, taken care of in one act of love that destroyed the bond that sin could have over us…essentially taking care of our past…as well as our future.

Jeremiah got it a few verses earlier as well, in Jeremiah 32:17 he stated, “Ah, Lord God, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for you!”

Our past covered by the blood of Christ, our future is in the hands of a God who can do the impossible…so why would we do anything but live in the moment with Him? Why would we worry about the things we cannot change? Why be fearful of the things that God is already working on that we haven’t even seen?

Renew your focus today! I challenge you to release your past, stop worrying and trying to change something you can’t.  Forget about the future and the fears that you have, God is in control and has it already taken care of.  Resolve today to live in the moment, THIS MOMENT, that you have with God.

 

 

 

Get out of the Boat

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a key factor in every Christian’s life. It’s something that we should all look at when our lives come down to it. When you look at the story in scripture of Jesus walking on water (Matthew 14, Mark 6, John 6), there is a huge part of the story that sometimes gets left out in the story. It is the story of the disciples.

First – there is fear. The disciples were in a boat, rowing against the wind, and trying to reach the other shore. Jesus had stayed behind to pray, and was simply making his way from one side to the other. When the disciples saw him they became afraid. They thought it was a ghost, because in their minds it was not comprehendible that a man could be walking on the water. The irony in it all is the fact that just as we do, they cried out for Jesus. He was on His way to meet them on the other side, but when He heard them He stopped. Many times in our lives we are faced with fears and uncertainties that cause us to not see that the Lord is there with us, but instead we assume it is something which means us harm.

This is where the story of the disciples becomes what we overlook. Many times we see the story of the faith of Peter, we hear time and time again about how He had the faith to step out – and I don’t want to downplay that at all – because it is important. Peter called out and told Jesus to call Him and then stepped out on the water. Peter did what no other man has ever been able to do, he walked on water; but there is more to the story than that. The story of the other disciples who stayed put – the ones who were too scared to see the opportunity at hand. Peter may not have made it to Jesus, but he had the faith to step out and try to get to where His Lord was, not wait on Jesus to come to him.

Many times in our lives we overlook the opportunities we have because we are too scared to ‘get out of the boat’. We become content in our lives to wait on what the Lord is going to do for us, and not pursue Him in the way that we should. We should pursue with full abandon, forgetting what is going on in our lives and pushing forward toward Jesus…because as Peter knew, the shelter that He can provide is much greater than what we are facing. But where Peter failed we can also learn a lesson of keeping our focus on Jesus – because the wind will blow, but with our eyes on Jesus we can make the path all the way to Him. We don’t need to be content sitting back and waiting on the Lord to work in our lives, becoming gravely disappointed with the circumstances and asking God why something isn’t happening. We need to step out on faith, keep our eyes on Jesus, and go to where He is. Things happen a lot quicker when we are willing to meet Him rather than wait. So, I encourage you to get out of the boat, and trust that you will be able to face the waves, knowing that with your eyes on Jesus, nothing in impossible.

Going the Distance

One of the most quoted verses in scripture comes from 2 Timothy 4, where in verse seven it says: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” This scripture speaks to finishing strong in the Christian walk. In this scripture Paul is telling Timothy that it is now time for his ministry to take flight as his time is nearing an end. Paul used this letter to Timothy to encourage his young protégée as he realized that his ministry was nearing an end. It can also be an encouragement to each of us as we continue though our lives with Christ.

Jesus promised us in John 14:16, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;” that we will have a comforter who will come and guide us through our lives. Jesus makes the promise of the Holy Spirit, offering each of us a way to attack life with full confidence that we have nothing to fear.

What does this mean for us today?

It means that we can be assured of success in our lives, even when we feel that we are nothing in the eyes of the world. There are many who build their legacy with money and power here on earth, but those who are successful in the eyes of the world often find themselves without joy, struggling to find joy and peace in this world.

This is a joy that Paul knew because of who Paul knew. Paul celebrated his life; he celebrated his faith, even in the face of adversity. Paul found himself in and out of jail, facing all types of persecution because of his faith, but he had this Comforter that Jesus spoke of to keep him full of joy in even the toughest times of his life.

This is what Paul is sharing with Timothy in chapter 4, that he can keep the faith as well. Paul wanted Timothy to know that he could enjoy life and minister no matter the circumstance.

How does your life look today?

Have you built a worldly worth that makes you successful in the eyes of others, yet still search for joy and happiness in your life?

I want to encourage you today that you too can have peace and joy, even in the face of adversity, just as Paul did. Seek the Lord today and ask for the comfort that comes from the Holy Spirit.

Today is the day that you can experience true freedom.

Today is your day to find the same comfort of a well lived life and the day that you can claim as Paul did in verse 8, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Doubting God

Do you ever have doubts about God and what He can do in your life?

The fact is that most of us have doubts about God at one time or another in our lives.  The interesting factor in all of this is that we find ways to doubt His power and strength in situations, and many times find ourselves struggling to wonder if He is even there.

I would even venture to say that the biggest doubt that we as Christians have comes from the opening sentence in the Bible…”In the Beginning God…”  The struggle we find ourselves in is rooted in figuring out how God could have always existed…Where He came from…What He did before creating the world?

But the truth of this opening statement is this…we as Christians should find ourselves rejoicing over these four words.  These words should enrich our faith because God has always been there…God has always been in control.  John 1 also opens in a similar fashion with the statement that, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

That word is Jesus Christ.  He was in the beginning with God and even made the statement to his disciples that, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.”  The death of Jesus allows us to experience the love that God has for us.  This death, with the overwhelming evidence of the resurrection of Christ allows us to believe in the power that God has to do anything.

With the evidence that is stacked in favor of the resurrection, doesn’t it seem like we can face these questions with a little more certainty than we do?  It seems to me that the fact that Jesus raised from the dead, we don’t need to know the answers to where God came from or if He always existed, because the truth is, He is God and we are not.

Truth is, we all have doubts at times about God, but Jesus is the reason we can believe that God exists…We have his word to guide us, and every word is truth.  We must rest assured in the knowledge of His power and His existence.