Background Passages: Lamentations 3:22-23; Hebrews 10:23
I recently connected on Facebook with Jesse Owens, a friend of ours from college. We’ve had no contact really since those days long ago. Our lives have gone separate ways. Still, the one good thing about the social platform comes when we find opportunities to connect and reconnect with family and friends.
Jesse and I attended different churches while in school. He went to the Student Ministry program at First Baptist Church, Lubbock, and I served as youth minister at First Baptist Church, Wolfforth. We first met through the Baptist Student Union at Texas Tech. The man’s voice was one to be envied and he was not afraid to use it. If you ever heard him sing, “My Tribute,” backed up by the Student Ministry choir at First Baptist Church, you surely found yourself kneeling before God’s throne.
I guess all of us use the New Year as a way of refocusing our lives. We naturally gravitate toward personal and spiritual reflection. During these first few weeks of the year, I found myself…unsettled. The world seems in chaos with turmoil boiling around us. I keep finding myself trying to see into the future and what the world holds for my four grandchildren. To be honest, I’ve been worried…until this week.
Worrying about tomorrow is not biblical. Losing faith in God’s goodness damages the spirit. Drives me away from doing the things I can do in my part of a troubled world to make it less troubled. Trusting in God, even in an uncertain world, brings peace in the midst of chaos. I was reminded of this truth by a song Jesse posted on Facebook this week. It hit the nail on the head and slammed the 2 x 4 across the bridge of my nose.
“He’s Been Faithful,” sung by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, resounds as a wonderful wake of call to walk daily in faith. Reading the lyrics without the melody speaks loudly to God constant faithfulness.
In my moments of fear,
Through every pain, every tear,
There’s a God who’s been faithful to me.
When my strength was all gone,
When my heart had no song.
Still, in love, he’s proved faithful to me.
Every word he has promised is true.
What I thought was impossible,
I’ve seen my God do.
He’s been faithful, faithful to me.
Looking back, his love and mercy I see.
Though in my heart, I have questioned,
Even failed to believe,
He’s been faithful, faithful to me.
We hear our pastors encourage us to “Have faith in God.” And, we should. God remains in control of a chaotic world around us. Though our sinfulness rests at the heart of the world’s ills, God provides a path through the darkness, enabling us to find ways of turning the bad to good…time and time again.
He does this not because we are faithful, but because he is faithful. The writer of Lamentations described it this way: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations. 3:22-23)
The writer of Hebrews echoed that sentiment when he said, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews. 10:23)
I watched our grandchildren play in our house this week. Followed them. Chased them. Hugged them. Let their laughter warm my soul. Celebrated the uniqueness in each of them in ways I seldom had time to do with my own kids. Being a retired grandparent has its advantages.
Most importantly, this week, I prayed for them. I prayed that on the day they accept Christ as their savior that they grasp, at least in part, the unfailing faithfulness of God. For, if they hold even a smidgen of understanding, it doesn’t matter what’s happening in the world. They will have the only resource that matters as they find their way through life.
So, thanks, Jesse, for the reminder.
You read the lyrics without the melody. Now, listen to the two together. May it speak to you today as clearly as it did for me this week.