I have so many times heard and been convinced of God's goodness. And yet, it seems that as soon as there is difficulty, that is the very character trait that gets called into question. The whisperings of the serpent's original deceptions linger in our daily circumstance when we wonder, "does He really want what's best for me?" and, "is He really good"?
I like that this song has two parts. The verses and courses, which you may be familiar with, recount His goodness. Despite circumstance, tragedy or perceived indifference, it is repeated again and again through scripture that His character is Good, and that he seeks to bestow everything good upon us.
The bridge that is added meets us in a very real place, in how this often plays out in our lives:
Lord, we believe
But help our unbelief
Lord, we believe
But help our hearts to sing
This is pulling from Mark 9, where a man asks if Jesus can do anything to help his son.
“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Yes, help us believe, and help us live as thought we are assured of His unyielding goodness.
I have been listening to a book called The Consequences of Ideas by R.C.Sproul. The book has shared ideas from Descartes, Hume, Kant, and John Locke. They share their ideas about who God is and how things were made. As I contemplated some of the ideas of these philosophers, I started to think about one particular idea of how things came from nothing. I figured I would use this idea to write this blog. I waited for a few hours and nothing happened. I still had nothing. I waited for a few days and still nothing happened. I had nothing. A post did not just appear out of this nothing, I had to create it or there would be no post.
I think about this in reference to the world and how it was created. Similar to my post, the world around me had to have a creator. There are so many beautiful things in this world for it have just come from nothing without someone orchestrating it. My conclusion is that we have an amazing creator that is behind the majesty of the universe. From the cosmos to cells, each of these has been spoken into existence by an amazing God who loves us enough to create us from the ground and speak His life into ours.
Raising kids is tough. Moments of gutting it out with discipline issues, long sleepless nights, choosing to respond in grace over anger, and creating moments of intentional time together. Tough. But isn't that the way of The Father. Graciously shepherding our hearts when we've run, creating moments full of meaning for us to enjoy as we worship Him, and then Jesus. In some ways I think of the "long sleepless night" that the trinity had broken over their new creation craving control and giving way to the temptation for power. Maybe they too stayed up late, heads together, hatching the craziest plan ever: "Jesus, son, it's time. You'll live, reflect me, give your life, and unleash grace for all to see and receive." Man. What a night. I love being a dad. I gratefully consume donuts and coffee with them as I fight through the bad moments, rejoicing that I've been set free.
Oh Jesus, help them know you.
This week I thought I'd share what I think is one of the best songs we've added to the worship set over at the Collingswood campus. I'm a big fan of The Brilliance and the music they produce, and I'm always excited to be leading with this song.
I just love how this song takes us through 3 movements in the questions it asks. They're broken down like this:
1. Who made it all?
For me it is often these simple reminders of the truth that lead to a fuller worship experience. The reminder of who God is, what he has done for me, and what the eternal story will look like.
We Will Worship Our God Alone.
This morning I wanted to share with you a song that was a part of our worship at the Collingswood campus yesterday. It is a fantastic contemporary hymn that is packed full of truth. The chorus is very simply:
All Glory be to Christ the King!
All Glory be to Christ!
His Rule and Reign we'll ever sing,
All Glory be to Christ!
This exclamation echoes the doxology at the end of Jude 1...
Job 38 New International Version (NIV)
Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
“Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me"...
And then God goes on to question Job.
I think many people simply see these concluding chapters in Job as God putting Job in his place, that even the very righteous need to be reminded that God is in control and they are not. There is profound truth there, and certainly we are called to surrender all to the will of God in recognition of His sovereignty. However, to stop there would still paint an incomplete picture. It would be very easy to read this as a reminder that we have no right to question God but it seems to be better framed as a reminder that the Lord who is both Sovereign and Good is the one who has charted eternity past to our forever future.
So, when I start thinking about this it seems to naturally relate to a passage in Matthew 6 about how God cares for everything down to the lilies and sparrows. With these thoughts we see that God is over the micro and the macro, which ultimately frees us to live without fear and worry for what may come.
This seems to be not as much "putting Job in his place" as it is a reminder of God's place as sovereign Lord over all, with love and our best interest in His heart. Enjoy this song as a reflection on that.
If you want a fuller explanation of all the depth captured in these concluding chapters in Job, click this link to listen or read a sermon by John Piper.
You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You. So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].
Isaiah 26:3-5 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)