Have you ever felt that God isn’t really as good as He says He is? Have you been in a situation which caused you to doubt the trustworthiness of the Lord? I think we have all experienced circumstances in our lives that make us question our faith or even question God. But when we allow Him to draw us close, we can encounter His merciful love. And His grace is like nothing that I have ever experienced.
Anyone who knows me well understands that music speaks deeply to my soul. There is something about putting words to a melody that transcends everything else. I have always felt the presence of the Holy Spirit most strongly when I am worshipping through song, and I believe that God honors that. That He even ordained it. Throughout the Old Testament, the Israelites worshipped the Lord by singing psalms and hymns to Him. In 2 Samuel chapter 22, we find David lifting up songs of praise to the Lord. God had delivered him from his enemies and David worshipped Him through song:
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation.” (2 Sam 22:2-3)
In verse 7, we also see David praising God, even in his desperation. “In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice.”
Just as the Lord used the songs and praises of His people so long ago, He also uses music in today’s culture to draw us close to Him and to minister to our hurting hearts. We need only to take refuge in Christ when we are going through difficult circumstances. We can cry out to Him and He will hear us, love us, and deliver us.
I have mentioned in previous posts that Peter struggled with anger towards God after Jonah was diagnosed with autism. And he would be the first to tell you that his faith faltered quite a bit with this diagnosis. Peter continued to attend church and life group, he constantly talked to our children about Christ, and he was faithful to use life lessons to draw our kids closer to the Lord. But in his heart, he was hurting. He abandoned his daily quiet time with the Lord. He quit reading the Bible. He even stopped praying. He put up an acceptable front and continued to look like a “good Christian,” but because I knew him so well, I could tell he was really struggling with his faith.
Our church here in Valdosta is a contemporary Baptist church. We have an extremely talented worship leader and band who lead us in worship each week. About a year ago, they sang a new song, and it rocked Peter’s world. I looked over at him as the band sang these new, unfamiliar lyrics while the words flashed on the screens in front of us, and I noticed tears streaming down Peter’s face. He was overcome with emotion.
After church we went straight home, and Peter began searching online for the name of this song that had spoken so intimately to him. He typed in lyrics, titles that he thought the song might be called, groups that might have recorded it. And he ended up with nothing.
The next night I was at church for an event and spotted one of the members of the worship team. I asked her about the song and found out that it was actually an original song written by our worship leader, Spence Parkerson. It was called “Leaning.”
This song is all about leaning on the everlasting arms of Christ, no matter what difficulty we are facing. I want you to read some of the lyrics written by Spence. Take your time and let them sink into your soul.
So I let go
And I lean back
Believing You’ll carry me
Believing You’re all I need
I am safe
And I’ll be strong
In Your arms You will carry me
In Your arms I have all I need
These words are so powerful. Can you feel the truth in them? Can you see why Peter was so affected by the honesty of the lyrics? When we let go of whatever it is that we are clinging to, we can lean into Christ and He will carry us. But we must trust Him with our burdens, with our fears. We have to be willing to let go and lean back. We have to truly believe that He will catch us and carry us. So many times, we confess that He is all we need but we don’t actually believe Him enough to trust Him with our desperation.
Maybe, like Peter, you are struggling today with some of these same questions:
Is God really as good as I thought He was?
What did we do to deserve this diagnosis?
I thought, if we were faithful to obey, God would protect and bless us. Why didn’t He?
These are tough questions. Life can be difficult. But, as Peter learned, Christ will carry you through the hard times.
2 Samuel 22:20 says this: “He brought me out into a spacious space; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” God delights in you, sweet friend. He wants to be your rescuer. He is all you need. Just let go and lean into Him.
I encourage you to grab a copy of Crosspointe Worship’s New CD called Deeper Waters. You will hear truth in the lyrics and I believe the songs will draw you closer to the Lord and will be an encouragement in your daily walk with Christ. Honestly, it has been a long time since I’ve heard music as worshipful as this.
It is currently available at cdbaby and you can download it now right here. I promise you will not be disappointed.