Have you ever had a week where it just felt like your were consuming tons of information but the processing of said information was taking longer than dial up internet?! That was me this week. And I’m still proccessing, so I’m just going to share some songs, sermons, and scriptures that I was encouraged by this week and a little about how I was encouraged by them. I hope you are encouraged as well!
Nothing Holding Me Back by Bryan & Katie Torwalt
And sacrificed Your life so I could live
Your Love will never let me go
The kindness and greatness of Your love
Jesus, You make all things new
Now I get to love You in return
Bless the Lord O my soul
O my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your Holy name
The sun comes up
It’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass
And whatever lies before me
Let me be singing
When the evening comes
You’re rich in love
And You’re slow to anger
Your name is great
And Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness
I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons
For my heart to find
And on that day
When my strength is failing
The end draws near
And my time has come
Still my soul will
Sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years
And then forevermore
God has continued to reveal to me just how much a sin-focused mindset is not a part of His Kingdom. In this Q&A Dan says, “We are not people with a bunch of problems, we are people with answers.” He did not create us for sin and Jesus’s death and resurrection is the answer to our sin problem. Staying fixed on our shortcomings and failures ensures that we stay where we are at, rather than progressing to where God desires for us to be. Which is transformed and renewed in His image. Yes, we must take sin seriously but any confession of sin must also be accompanied by the hope and understanding of who we are in Christ. We are victorious over sin and death! Praise God!!!
In this sermon, Nicole talks about how we were created to worship and are always worshiping something. There is worship in our “laying down” or “letting go” of situations, or worries, or even people, knowing that Jesus is working ahead of us. We can lay “it” down with a knowing that He has the victory.
You can go back and read the whole passage but these verses stuck out to me. Peace here means “A state of rest, quiteness, and calmness; an absence of strife; tranquility.” Tribulation here means “pressure on that which is unfettered and free.” In Christ we are unfettered and free. We are overcomers!
If we look to the people and circumstances of the world around us, it seems impossible to achieve this state of peace and good cheer. But here’s the thing, Jesus said it’s ours so it must be so! How powerful we would be for the kingdom if we lived in a state of inner peace in spite of the chaos of the world around us? How different would the church look if we were cheerful in the midst of adversity?
An example of how I was encouraged this week
Nicole also mentioned in the sermon above that “hosanna” originally meant “save me!” It was a cry for help that shifted to be a cry of praise. Isn’t that so good and so applicable to our everyday lives?
This past week I found myself wrestling with frustration and just an overall bad attitude towards my children’s constant disobedience and bickering. I was tempted to despair, because this heart attitude was something that I had surrendered to the Lord and experienced complete freedom from earlier in the year. Instead of despair, I began praying outloud in their room.
My cry for help shifted to praise and led to worship as I began singing “Bless the Lord, Oh my soul…” And then my oldest said he had a song for Jesus as well.
There was more, but I can’t even remember, I was overwhelmed in the best way possible. He finished and excitedly said, “I don’t even know where that came from! Do you think that I belong in church singing one day?!”
This is why we cannot stay focused on our failures. It’s not in behavior modification that we are transformed. It is in His presence, where our hearts shift to worship as He reminds us of His promises and who we are in Christ. AND He is so good to use the shift in our hearts to change the hearts of those around us as well. Our revival becomes their revival. All because we sought His presence rather than despairing and believing the lie that we are always going to be stuck.
Be encouraged, friends. His peace is our peace. We can be joyful and of good cheer in spite of our circumstances.