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  • Writer's pictureThe Well Community Church

If That's What It Takes to Praise You...

There is a Mercy Me song I remember seeing performed live at a July 4th celebration years ago. It was in Charlotte, NC at the Charlotte Knights minor league baseball stadium. Lead singer Bart Millard got up and told us this song was created in somewhat of a spontaneous moment of reflection with the band. They had space left on their album and ended up writing this one on the road. The chorus goes, ...

Bring me Joy, bring me peace Bring the change to be free Bring me anything that brings you glory And I know there'll be days When this life brings me pain But if that's what it takes to praise you Jesus, bring the rain. ("Bring the Rain", Mercy Me)

There was something calming about this song because it seemed to give reason to the pains and tragedies of life. When bad things happen, it's easy to ask "why me?" We become so full of the "whys" that we start tricking ourselves into thinking that our circumstances are "all about us". What is lost in the midst of our confusion is that none of it is about us... it's about God.

Job has similar "why" concerns which God answers in Chapters 38-41. It's honestly my favorite scriptural testimony of God's glory in the entire Bible. At the conclusion of God explaining "IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU, JOB", you see Job respond in this way (warning, it's not super cheery)...

4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ 5 My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:4-6)

In this moment, Job recognized the error of his thinking. The problem wasn't that his faith had faltered or that he hadn't asked the right question. The problem was that he was trying to find himself in the explanation for his tragedy instead of looking to God's master plan. We know from Romans that...

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Rm 8:28)

If this is what we believe, then we must believe it all the time... in the good, the bad, the victories, and the defeats. We must believe it when believing it easy and we must believe it when our faith feels weaker than ever. If we believe God is the God of all good graces and mercy, then we have to acknowledge that, in the midst of our anxieties and fears, God's glory will still be achieved and our joy will be sustained through that sense of purpose.

So when you feel down and out, understand that your circumstances are not about what you did or didn't do. They aren't about how much good will you sow with God or how much you sinned. Everything which happens must happen for the glory of God. And in that glory, you will find a deep, everlasting joy.

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