This week, it seems like almost everyone I know has been going through some sort of visible challenge! Whether its changes in relationships, work situations, pink eyes, harsh words, serious illnesses, rampant food poisonings, or multiple car accidents, it seems like everyone is feeling some added pressure!
Since I’ve been sick for the last week and pressured on a few other fronts as well, I had very little confidence that I would be able to complete a song for this week when I woke up this morning. I knew what I wanted to do, but I had no idea how it would be something worth listening to that would give God glory. I kept having this thought to just let it go and get to it once I was feeling better. Praise God when we are weak we can rely on His strength!
I found myself reflecting on Michael Jordan when he played Game 5 of the playoffs with the flu and scored 38 points! He was so sick he had to be carried off the court by one of his teammates! It wasn’t his best game ever, but he showed up and he played his best because he wanted to win.
“No matter how sick or tired I was, I felt the obligation to my team to give an extra effort.” – Michael Jordan
Then I was reminded of the verse that says:
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Praise God that we too can go through every day, and give our absolute best for a prize that is imperishable!
Back in September, I jotted down a melody that I revisited this week. I’m amazed at God’s perfect timing because during a week of everyone facing their unique circumstances, He knew that we would be reminded of His promises!
The lyrics to this song are from the book of James. I hope they encourage everyone to look to Christ no matter what we are facing and watch as He glorifies God our Father as we experience victory from sin through Him! Let’s be thankful that this has been a week of trials! It means we each have the opportunity to grow stronger in faith!
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4
I’m reminded of a relevant book Christian Perfection by Fenelon where he talks about the different ways God uses trials to make us like Him. I appreciate Fenelon in particular because he wrote when the Palace of Versailles was in its prime. There were a few within the palace that wanted to be Christians but couldn’t reconcile how they could be Christians when they were so privileged compared to the paupers outside of the Palace. Fenelon corrected this wrong view by pointing out that God can use any and every circumstance in our lives to conform us to the image of Christ.
Excerpts from Chapter 4
Avis à une personne de la cour. Des croix attachées à un état de grandeur et de prospérité.
GOD is ingenious in making us crosses. He makes them of iron and of lead, which are heavy in themselves. He makes them of straw which seems to weigh nothing, and which are less difficult to carry. He makes them of gold and of precious stones, which dazzle the spectators, which excite the envy of the public, but which crucify no less than the crosses which are most despised. He makes them of all the things which we like the best, and turns them to bitterness. Favour brings vexation and importunity. It gives what we do not want, and takes away what we should like.
A poor person who lacks bread has a cross of lead in his extreme poverty. God knows how to season the greatest wealth with equal misery. We are, in this prosperity, starving for freedom and for consolation, as the pauper is for bread. At least he can, in his unhappiness, knock at every door and stir the compassion of every passer-by. But people in favour are the shame-faced poor. They dare not ask for pity, nor seek any comfort. It often pleases God to join physical weakness to this servitude of the spirit a state of greatness. Nothing is more useful than these two crosses together. They crucify a man from head to foot. He feels his weakness, and the uselessness of all that he possesses. The world does not see your cross, because it only considers it a slight annoyance softened by authority, and a light indisposition which it suspects of neurasthenia. At the same time you see in your condition only bitterness, dryness, boredom, captivity, discouragement, pain, impatience. Everything that dazzles the spectators disappears in the eyes of the person who possesses it, and God really crucifies him while all the world envies his good fortune.
We must not find any good in prosperity except that which the world cannot recognize there, I mean the cross.Christian-Perfection-Francois-Fenelon
7 of the previous songs are now on Spotify for anyone who wants an easier way to listen. There is a bit of a process to get the songs approved, so I plan on uploading 7 songs at a time. For any songs that are in between (like last week’s song, I will keep uploading to the Youtube playlist until I have another batch of 7 to get approved by Spotify.