Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Joy in Singing

1. It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
      to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
2. to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
      and your faithfulness by night,
3. to the music of the lute and the harp,
      to the melody of the lyre.
4. For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work;
      at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
Psalm 92:1-4

    I have to confess yesterday was not the greatest of days. It was just one of those days that my attitude was not great. We are exhausted from a busy summer that is not over yet and the stress of the never ending pace of all the things that come with church planting were weighing on me. We were looking forward to an evening away at a marriage retreat in Denver but in the midst of that I had a couple of difficult phone calls and because of my fatigue and stress I was not the most pleasant. I wasn't the most pleasant on the phone and Amy gently reminded me that I was not the most pleasant in person either.

    As we had dinner and sat with other planters and began the retreat my mind and my heart were not in the right place. I was tired, stressed, frustrated and irritated. I didn't really want to be there and all I could think about were the things I had to do and dwell on the frustrations of the day. I was not focused on the retreat, enjoying the company of other planters or time with Amy. I was being selfish. I was being pitiful and I just wanted to go and get some rest. And then something happened. The worship leader for the retreat stood up and led us in singing. And this is what we sang.

Who breaks the power of sin and darkness?
Whose love is mighty and so much stronger?
The King of Glory, the King of kings!

This is AMAZING Grace, unfailing love, That You would take my place, That you would bear my cross.

   As I sang these words I realized how selfish and sinful I had been. I had allowed the enemy to take a foothold in my day and he did it through fatigue and stress. I allowed the little minor things in life to rob me of the joy of the greater things. I was robbed of the joy of being with friends and the joy of time away with Amy and I was also robbed of the joy of being known and loved by God, all because I was being selfish.

   We all get this way from time to time. We get tired and stressed and life comes at us from all different angles and the enemy comes at us hard and fast and often in ways we never see. After all he is crafty and prowls around like a roaring lion looking for weakness and pouncing on us desiring to devour us. He is a thief that comes to kill, steal and destroy and he loves to steal our joy.

   But God is good and gracious and He loves us and He has these ways of reminding us of who we are in Him because of what He has done for us. One of the most awesome ways He does this is through singing. Just as the Psalm says it is good to give thanks to The LORD and praise Him in song. There is just something about singing that has a way of opening our eyes to see and our herts to be reminded of His grace and mercy. He says it is good to sing and praise Him because it brings all other things back into perspective. It has a way of taking our focus off of our first world problems and allows us to focus on His glory and majesty and favor upon us. It is humbling and uplifting all at the same time. It is a game changer for sure. I know it was for me.

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