Psalm 37

Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for him; do not be agitated by one who prospers in his way, by the person who carries out evil plans. Refrain from anger and give up your rage; do not be agitated—it can only bring harm.For evildoers will be destroyed, but those who put their hope in the Lord will inherit the land. – Psalm 37:7-9 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm37:7-9&version=CSB

This is part of today’s Book of Common Prayer reading. What I like about Psalm 37 is that David is lamenting to the Lord that life isn’t fair. Those that are evil prosper and the righteous are being dogged on. David asks us to wait in silence for the Lord in the midst of our suffering and put our hope in the Lord. We will receive our inheritance from what is promised. He also asks us not to get angry or agitated when we see evil prosper. I know for me it is easier said than done. When I am angry and agitated it can be a trigger to want to numb the pain with lust and other addictions. Instead I need to let my agitation lead me to prayer and lament like David does in this Psalm.

Jesus said the same thing when he was talking to his disciples in the upper room discourse:

33 I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” – John 16:33 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John16:33&version=CSB

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A Time to Destroy and a Time to Build

james fowler

Ecclesiastes 3:1–8

A Time for Everything

[1] For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: [2] a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; [3] a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; [4] a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; [5] a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; [6] a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; [7] a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; [8] a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. (ESV)

I was talking with my friend Jeff at church on Sunday, and we were discussing the progression people have in their faith journey.  He shared with me a process called “construct, deconstruct, and reconstruct”.  He also shared with me Dr. James Fowler’s Stages of Faith where in the past year I have hit a wall in my faith journey.  Evangelicalism has also hit a wall  charger by Trump’s victory which has essentially damaged the Christian witness to those outside the church.   Michelle Van has this to say about Evangelicalism’s mid-life crisis:

The shifts in our culture and the upcoming election have brought Evangelicalism at midlife to a wall of its own. The good news is that what gets deconstructed as we face the disorienting nature of the wall isn’t essential for where we’re going as kingdom people in this culture, anyway. If there was ever a time for us to face the wall and grow up, it is now.

I found it fascinating since I am going through part two and three at the same time, the deconstruct and reconstruct part.  He also shared with me Dr. James Fowler’s Stages of Faith.  Similar to Erik Ericson’s Stages of Psychosocial development, he uses a similar model to explain and discern where each person may be in their own faith journey.  Fowler’s level’s of development are the following explained by Dr. Greg:

Stage 1: Intuitive Projective Faith (Early Childhood)–This is the “feeling stage” of faith.

Stage 2: Mythic-Literal Faith (Primary School Age to Adulthood)– This is the “story stage.”  The stage of fables and bible stories and rules.  These stories and rules form the basic structures of a child’s faith system.  At this stage, God is a “person” in the same sense that Superman or Santa Claus is a person.

Stage 3: Synthetic Conventional Faith (Adolescence to Adulthood)— This is the “relationship stage” of faith.  A person at this stage tends to decide that something is “true” if it makes their relationships easier and makes people feel affirmed.

Stage 4: Individuative-Reflective Faith (Early-Middle Adulthood)–This is the “Questioning and Seeking” stage of faith.  The person at this stage owns their faith, is not worried about whether people approve of them or not, and begins questioning many basic assumptions they had previously accepted as gospel.  The person at this stage is “kicking the tires” of their faith, asking hard questions to see what will stand and what may fall away.

Stage 5: Conjunctive Faith (Middle-Later Adulthood)–This is the “wisdom stage” of faith.  The person at this stage has achieved what seems to others to be an almost effortless integration of their faith and life.

Stage 6: Universalizing Faith (Later Adulthood)–For want of a better way to describe it, this is the “saintly stage.”  Without any attempt on their part to put on a show,  people at this stage are acknowledged by those around them for being living, breathing, examples of faith and virtue and an inspiration to others.

In my own journey, I can relate to each of these stages.  In high school and college I was probably waffling between the childhood and adolescent stage of faith development.  I became a Christian in high school on a youth retreat at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church in 1987 where the youth pastor’s wife was teaching through a little booklet entitled “My Heart, Christ’s Home”.  Here I knew that God through the Holy Spirit was drawing me to myself (John 6:44) and was speaking directly to me.  Later that year when I affirmed my baptism through confirmation, I knew that Jesus became my personal savior (Eph. 2:8-10) when I was interviewed by the Senior Pastor at UALC (Bebbington’s Conversionism).

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In college and in my 20’s I pursued faith communities that were like minded which created the primary structures that supported my beliefs and a community where I can form faith-based relationships that supported the same structures of my faith such as the “bible as sole authority in a person’s life (sola scriptura), salvation by faith alone (sola fide), by grace alone (sole gratia), by Christ alone (Solus Christus), and by Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God alone) which are the foundations of the Protestant Reformation.  I joined a men’s group with my friend Mike and all of us were drawn to the five pillars of Calvinisim as the blue-print paradigm of our beliefs.  I met my good friend Giles as well through the Vineyard movement where he and I are “brothers from a different mother”.  This phase of faith development provided answers and structure to my faith journey.  Later my involvement in Seminary filtered some of the secondary issues that the Christian Church I attended held true like some their beliefs about church polity and original sin to be secondary and not primary to my relationship with Jesus.

In my 20’s and 30’s the Vineyard movement provided relationships that supported the faith structure listed above.  Twice, this structure was challenged since when I became married to my first wife, she grew up in the Restoration Movement which was more influenced by the Second Great Awakening at Cane Ridge Kentucky in 1802, than the First Great Awakening in 1730 led by Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield.  What hadn’t changed was that the Christian churches we were apart of still would be considered Evangelical like the Vineyard movement with out the community that the Vineyard provided.  Even at seminary in my 40’s, I was still in community that supported Phases 1 to 3 of Fowler’s Stages of Faith.

In June of 2015, I was divorced from my first wife.  This was shocking but not unexpected since our marriage was broken and beyond repair to start with.  After a year and a half of being single, I started dating someone who was outside of the church.  This didn’t sit well with Evangelicals with their conservative understanding of sexual ethics.  Many have elevated human flourishing and sexual ethics to a primary position on faith issues than secondary.  By her presence in my life and my upcoming wedding and future marriage to her, has caused me to question some of those beliefs and structures that helped grow my faith from a childhood level to an an adolescence phase.  Her beliefs about the atonement and the personhood, divinity and work of Jesus differed from my beliefs (Solus Christus).  People in my church community both at the Vineyard and at the other Evangelical Church in Gahanna that I was attending questioned the validity of the relationship.  According to Dr. Greg:

Often the people around this individual consider them to be backsliding and are threatened by this individual’s willingness to question the structures of rules and relationships that people at the lower stages of faith need to hold onto for security.

I think he is absolutely correct that my close friends and my old pastor whom I have looked for guidance and direction as it relates to my faith journey do feel threatened by my relationship to my fiancee.  They hold true to the structures that I also held to be true.  As I enter into phase 4 of Fowler’s Stages of Faith, Individualistic-Reflective faith, I have surrounded myself with support from a new house church in Clintonville called the Buddhist-Christian-Mother-Earth Church, books by Rachel Held Evans on faith and culture, Patheos bloggers, and books by my favorite theologians that look at aspects of Orthodoxy on a deeper level like Dr. Joshua Jipp (my favorite seminary prof from TEDS), Dr. NT Wright (the most profound scholar on the life of the Apostle Paul), Matthew Bates and his review of Jesus work in Salvation by Allegiance Alone, and church historian, Kenneth J. Stewart’s new book “In Search of Ancient Roots: The Christian Past and the Evangelical Identity Crisis”.

Conclusion:

So going back to the Ecclesiastes 3 passage, it is time in my life to destroy and build, to kill and to heal, to weep and mourn and laugh and dance.  It is an exciting yet stressful time in my life.

Leaving Evangelicalism

The most basic definition of grief is:

“Grief is the normal and natural emotional reaction to loss or change of any kind. Of itself, grief is neither a pathological condition nor a personality disorder.”

While that definition is accurate, it doesn’t really explain what grief is. So here’s another one we use to give a better idea of what grief is, beyond the fact that it’s normal:

“Grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior.”

I have been Evangelical all of my life. At UALC, the Navigators in college, and at Vineyard in my 20’s and 30’s, and Westerville Christian and Centerpoint in my 40’s.

To me Evangelicalism and it’s worldview has been the way of life I lived and how I have perceived the world since I was at Ohio University in 1988.

After my divorce, I threw myself into what seemed comfortable, normal and an area to hide my grief of the loss of my marriage, that being church planting, seminary, and promoting a biblical worldview.

Even though I was part of a church community, I felt alone. I dated, and was told not to by mentors, sponsors and church leaders.  I was to remain celibate, pure and holy, devoted to the Lord like the Apostle Paul (1 Cor 7:).  Hence, being married to the church.  I didn’t listen to the churches advice. I found Jayne, and my world has been set upside-down (in a good way).  Just by her presence in my life, it challenged my worldview.

She grew up Baptist, but left the church in her late teens. She embraced New Age spirituality and alternative religions that coincides with America’s pluralistic Post- Christian worldview. She hasn’t denied the existence of Jesus, yet sees Jesus in a Spiritualist/Gnostic sense, that of a spiritual teacher on the same plane with Ghandi, Buddha, and Mohammad.  To her the most important aspects of the bible would be the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), and Jesus parables (Matthew 13).  This is very different than Orthodox perspective I grew up with.

I love Jayne and what she points me to. Yet to embrace everything that God has in store for us, I need to leave my past Evangelicalism behind. That is where grieving comes in with all of it’s conflicting emotions. It is also about the changes that are occuring since I have embraced something and someone new. The changes and confrontations with alternative religions and lifestyles have come fast and furious, not gradual.

4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. – Matthew 5:4 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew5:4&version=CSB

Despite all of this, God is with me in my grief or the extreme changes that I am experiencing. It is not just that Jayne’s friends are worldly, it is just they are extreme.  Alternative lifestyles in all that they entail including alternative religions like Norse based paganism, Wiccans, and New Age Mediums and teachers (like the late Sylvia Browne, Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra).  These people that I am associating with now push my boundaries. I know that the Bible says we are supposed to be of the world, but not in the world.  Yet at the same time, they are good, loving people who love and practice social justice, do no harm (for those that practice witchcraft), and embody more of the Kingdom of God than most Christians do.  They live in harmony with all people, they accept people where they are at in their own spiritual journeys, and believe in a better place exists after we die.

My Evangelical friends have rejected me because of the above.  They tend to be more like the Judaizers and Pharisees that Jesus and Paul debated with than Christ himself.  Jesus always showed hospitality to those that lived in the margins such as The God-fearing Centurian, the woman with internal bleeding, the lame, blind and the leppers.  To me as Christians our role is to be salt and light to those that we live with, our families, our neighbors, and our co-workers.

My Evangelical dream of her coming back to Christ defined by Evangelicalism is dead. I have always said, we need to give God space to work on both of us. Diversity in unity.  There is a sweet tension in that diversity.  Natural law would state that some of the divine attributes of God like unconditional love, sacrificial service to each other, showing forgiveness to each other, living in the present moment (mindfulness), and putting up with each others weaknesses are just as important or more important that the worldview that we hold.

I am ending one chapter of life in the Evangelical Church in America and starting a new chapter with Jayne.

Just as the scripture says, God will comfort me in my grief and is with me in the changes.

Who knows where I will land….

The Wanderer – Johnny Cash and U2

I went out walking through the streets paved with gold
lifted some stones
saw the skin and bones
of a city without a soul
I went out walking under an atomic sky
where the ground won’t turn
and the rain it burns
like the tears when I said goodbye
CHORUS
Yeah I went with nothing
nothing but the thought of you
I went wandering
I went drifting through the capitals of tin
where men can’t walk
or freely talk
and sons turn their fathers in
I stopped outside a church house
where the citizens like to sit
they say they want the kingdom
but they don’t want God in it
CHORUS
I went out with nothing
nothing but the thought of you
I went wandering
I went out walking
down that winding road
where no one’s trusting no one
and conscience… a too heavy load
I went out riding, down that ol’eight lane
I passed by a thousand signs
looking for my own name
CHORUS
I went with nothing
but the thought you’d be there, too
Looking for you
I went out there in search of experience
to taste and to touch and to feel’s as much
as a man can before he repents
I went out searching, looking for one good man
A spirit who would not bend or break
Who could sit at his father’s right hand
I went out walking with a bible and a gun
The word of God lay heavy on my heart
I was sure I was the one
Now Jesus, don’t you wait up
Jesus, I’ll be home soon
Yea I went out for the papers
told her I’d be back by noon
Yeah I left with nothing
but the thought you’d be there too
looking for you…
Yeah I left with nothing
nothing but the thought of you…
I went wandering

The above is a song from U2’s album Zooropa which came out in the 1990’s.  The late Johnny Cash sings this song performed by U2.  The atmosphere of this song is haunting and beautiful at the same time.  So of us who have left Evangelicalism feel like a wanderer searching for God, a church community which is authentic and free of bull shit, free from the show.  A place where we can find God.  That is what we feel when Johnny sings “yeah I left with nothing, but the though you’d be there too, looking for you.”

Yet, Christianity is discriminatory.  Everything hinges on who Jesus is to us.  We all have to make a decision whether or not Jesus is he who he claimed to be and is the rightful King of Kings.  This month’s issue of National Geographic has a picture of Jesus on the cover where the lead article is about how archaeology has revealed and given us a better picture of who he is.  Jesus is still as popular as ever.
Again, I wonder if I would recognize Jesus if he showed up in my household, workplace, church.  If I would even recognize him.  I wonder if my expectations of who he is based upon what I have learned in seminary, grew up with in youth group, and was part of in the Vineyard movement would keep me from seeing him myself.  I wonder if I even understand what he came to do.  Even his own people did not recognize him.

Jesus loves me. And you. And by the way, he also loves our enemies. The truth is that he loves all of us, the good, the bad, and the ugly. And that’s not all. He loves every single square inch of the creation too. And he calls us to discover that love, to live in it, and to live it out to a broken and hurting world for the glory of God the Father. That may not be the sum total of the Gospel. But thank God, it’s the seed.  (Rauser, Randal. What’s So Confusing About Grace? (Kindle Locations 4952-4955). 2 Cup Press. Kindle Edition.)

So I continue to wander just like Johnny sings looking for the authentic Jesus…..

Quick Reminder

Below is a quick reminder of what defines someone who is Evangelical:

Researchers used a four-point definitiondeveloped by LifeWay Research and the National Association of Evangelicals. It relies on four statements:

  • Biblicism – The Bible is the highest authority for what I believe.
  • Activism – It is very important for me personally to encourage non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior.
  • Cruciformism – Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of my sin.
  • Conversionism – Only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.

After meeting with my friend Doug and Courtney at lunch today, I would add one more that applys the above:

Someone who is a Christian knows in their heart that God loves them and true love comes from God.

Someone who is a Christian believes they are a sinner and sees a need for Grace in their life.  They see a gulf between a sovereign, holy God and themselves.  This leads to seeing a need for a savior in their life.
The grace that transforms a person leads to being able to show someone the same grace and mercy they were shown.

That intimacy with God leads to dependency and obedience in their life.  

It is more than just believing what is quoted above.

Biblicism and Why it Matters 

Heb 4:12 ESV  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

2Ti 3:16-17 ESV  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,  (17)  that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Today, I am going to be tackiling one of the elements that make someone to be evangelical regardless of their denomination.  It is called biblicism, and it is one of the elements in David Bebbington’s Evangelical Quadrilateral.  To review, the Evangelical Quadrilateral are the following:

Conversionism: an emphasis on the importance of personal conversion. Biblicism: a high regard for the Bible and its unique authority in conveying spiritual truth. Crucicentrism: an emphasis on the centrality of the atoning work of Christ. Activism: a conviction that the Gospel should be lived out in visible and socially transformative actions. (Rauser, Randal. What’s So Confusing About Grace? (Kindle Locations 2867-2874). 2 Cup Press. Kindle Edition.)

Most Evangelicals hold what is taught in the Bible to be the authoritative Word of God.  This tradition comes from the Protestant Reformation from which Martin Luther called “Sola Scriptura”.  At the time that Luther was living, most of Western Europe was Roman Catholic where God’s authority was shared between the Holy Roman Catholic Church (Canon Law) and the Bible.  In protest, Luther radically stated that the only authority or intermidiary between him and God, was God’s Word.  Most Evangelicals believe that the bible is both inerrant and infallible meaning that the words contained in the bible do not change (infallible), and are of the highest authority for one’s life.  Leading Christian Ethicist, David Gushee writes:

This is sometimes called evangelical biblicism. With variations, most evangelicals still believe that the (Protestant) Bible is divinely inspired, the truthful and authoritative Word of God to humans, and the only sure guide for Christian faith and pracice. Most evangelicals have been deeply shaped by a sometimes productive, sometimes destructive biblical populism in which it is believed that any literate, reasonably devout Christian can read an English translation of the Bible and receive a clear understanding of God’s Word and will.

Sometimes evangelicals go even further in demonstrating their biblicist credentials, as when they declare that the Bible is the source of all truth. This grand declaration might sound particularly pious and high-minded, but it is simply bad theology. After all, in the absolute sense, God is the source of all truth. (Rauser, Randal.  (Kindle Locations 2991-2994)

What about Biblical Interpretation?

There two schools of biblical interpretation.  One school is called the Grammatical-Historical Interpretive School, and the other is called the plenary interpretive school.  Both schools view the Bible as the inspired Word of God.  Yet, one school takes God’s Word contained in the bible as authoritative, and the other school does not. 

According to Mongerism website, they define the Grammatical-Historical Method as:

According to Luther’s new hermeneutic, which was actually just the recovered hermeneutic of the earliest Church Fathers, each bible passage had one basic meaning, which was firmly rooted in historical truth, and related accurately according to the common principles of human language. Thus, it was “historical,” relating real, interconnected historical events, that must be acknowledged and understood before the various teachings of the bible could make sense or have application; and “grammatical,” using language the way any normal person would. This grammatical-historical hermeneutic is absolutely vital, for it tethers the truth of the scriptures to real, historical events, that have a real impact on our life; and it gives us a way to study the scriptures with confidence, according to well-established dictates of human language.  Basically it means that the bible needs to be interpreted towards its original intent (historical) with the use of plain language (grammatical).  Before a person can apply scripture to their life, they would have to have a general understanding of the original author’s audience, intent, rooted in common language to be understood by it’s intended audience.  They also believe since scripture is the living Word of God inspired by the Holy Spirit, that scripture interprets scripture.  Biblical helps such as commentaries, concordances, and other tools are helpful when it comes to this type of interpretation of the Bible.

The other method used by Evangelicals is the Plenary interpretation of Scripture.  This view also believes that the Word of God contained in Scripture was divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit.  Yet this view takes in human limitations such as culture and history into account, but puts emphasis on God himself.  What is important is the meaning of what is said in the bible not the words themselves.


According to Wayne Grudem, Biblical Inerrancy is defined as:

The doctrine of inerrancy means that the Bible is entirely truthful and reliable in all that it affirms in its original manuscripts. Another way of saying this is that the Bible does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact. Because God is the ultimate author of the Bible, and because God is always perfectly truthful, it follows that his Word is completely truthful as well: He is the “God who never lies” (Titus 1: 2). It would be contrary to his character to affirm anything false. God is all-knowing, always truthful and good, and all-powerful, so he always knows and tells the truth and is able to communicate and preserve his Word. “O Lord GOD, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant” (2 Sam. 7: 28). “Every word of God proves true” (Prov. 30: 5; cf. Ps. 12: 6; 119: 42; John 17: 17).

Crossway Bibles. ESV Study Bible (Kindle Locations 335079-335088). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

Why is Biblicism Important?

Over the centuries, Christians have used the Bible to discriminate against women, different races, defend slavery, anti-semiticism, and other debatable topics because of their plain reading of scripture.

In addition, one most hotly debated topic within the church today is what it means to be married.  Most Fundamentalists and Evangelicals believe that marriage is defined as one man one woman.  No person can marry someone of the same-sex.  Many Christians who consider themselves LGBQT, or gay-affirming would disagree with this interpretation of scripture and feel that they cannot belong to a good evangelical church because of their belief contained in the scriptures against anytype of marriage that would challenge the traditional biblical standard of one man one woman marriages.  The question is not if the texts contained in the Bible are valid, but the interpretation of the text.  Sexual identity was a non-issue to someone living in the first century, yet is a crucial issue to us today.  

Many young people are leaving the church today because most of them have a friend who considers themselves LGBQT or they themselves identify with that issue.  1 in 20 Americans would identify with this lifestyle, and many young people cannot affirm a church that their parents or grand-parents went to if they reject people that are not LGBQT affirming.  Many young people see Jesus affirming those that are sexual minorities if he was living today.  Young people who were raised in Christian Conservative homes that identify with LGBQT  are more vulnerable to suicide, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and STD’s according to Dr. Gushee (Changing Our Mind, Kindle location 2057).

What Gushee calls for especially dealing with the clobber verses on human sexuality is the following:


We must engage the destructively-cited biblical texts in the ways done by reformers of Christian anti-Judaism since the 1960s— which involves fresh research on the background and meaning of the texts, broader contextualization of the circumstances in which they were written, and constructive reinterpretation in the Spirit of Christ. Many important recent works are doing this.

Gushee, David P.. Changing Our Mind: Definitive 3rd Edition of the Landmark Call for Inclusion of LGBTQ Christians with Response to Critics (Kindle Locations 2086-2088). Read the Spirit Books. Kindle Edition.

Thanksgiving Post – Stars

​Hallelujah! How good it is to sing to our God, for praise is pleasant and lovely. The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem; he gathers Israel’s exiled people. He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; he gives names to all of them. Our Lord is great, vast in power; his understanding is infinite. The Lord helps the oppressed but brings the wicked to the ground. Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; play the lyre to our God, who covers the sky with clouds, prepares rain for the earth, and causes grass to grow on the hills. He provides the animals with their food, and the young ravens, what they cry for. He is not impressed by the strength of a horse; he does not value the power of a warrior. The Lord values those who fear him, those who put their hope in his faithful love. Exalt the Lord, Jerusalem; praise your God, Zion!For he strengthens the bars of your city gates and blesses your children within you. He endows your territory with prosperity; he satisfies you with the finest wheat. He sends his command throughout the earth; his word runs swiftly. He spreads snow like wool; he scatters frost like ashes; he throws his hailstones like crumbs. Who can withstand his cold? He sends his word and melts them; he unleashes his winds, and the water flows. He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and judgments to Israel. He has not done this for every nation; they do not know his judgments. Hallelujah! – Psalm 147:1-20 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm147:1-20&version=CSB

Sometimes life just sucks, and isn’t fair.  Expectations are not as we want them to be whether it is with our careers and jobs, families, relationships, and our overall position in life which can lead to depression and despair.  Yet at the same time we need hope.  A hope in an eternal perspective.

The above Psalm (Psalm 147) was part of today’s reading from the Book of Common Prayer.  The Psalmist tells us to sing to the Lord with Thanksgiving.  There numerous reasons in this Psalm to be thankful.  First, the Lord is our provider our Jehovah Jireh.  He provides food for the Ravens, he endows our territory, and satisfies us with wheat.  The Psalmist also extols us not to trust in our own strength, but trust and fear in the Lord.

While I was reading this Psalm this morning, it reminded me of Skillet’s song “Stars”.  I can see where John Cooper found his inspiration for this Psalm.  He writes and sings:

Stars

Skillet

You spoke a word and life began
Told oceans where to start and where to end
You set in motion time and space
But still you come and you call to me by name
Still you come and you call to me by name

If you can hold the stars in place
You can hold my heart the same
Whenever I fall away
Whenever I start to break
So here I am, lifting up my heart
To the one who holds the stars

The deepest depths, the darkest nights
Can’t separate, can’t keep me from your sight
I get so lost, forget my way
But still you love and you don’t forget my name

If you can hold the stars in place
You can hold my heart the same
Whenever I fall away
Whenever I start to break
So here I am, lifting up my heart
If you can calm the raging sea
You can calm the storm in me
You’re never too far away
You never show up too late
So here I am, lifting up my heart
To the one who holds the stars

Your love has called my name
What do I have to fear?
What do I have to fear?
Your love has called my name
What do I have to fear?
What do I have to fear?

If you can hold the stars in place
You can hold my heart the same
Whenever I fall away
Whenever I start to break
So here I am, lifting up my heart
(Lifting up my heart)
If you can calm the raging sea
You can calm the storm in me
You’re never too far away
You never show up too late
So here I am, lifting up my heart
To the one who holds the stars

You’re the one who holds the stars

Songwriters: John Cooper, Korey Cooper, Jason Ingram, Seth Mosley

© ESSENTIAL MUSIC PUBLISHING, MUSIC SERVICES, INC., BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

There is hope when life is hard.  He promises to hold our hearts in place, he can calm the stores that rage within me that cause my despair and discontent.  John’s hope as is my hope is in the one who holds the stars.  My hope is not in my situation, my prosperity or lack of prosperity, but is in the one who is in charge.  Just as the Psalmist writes, he heals the brokenhearted and binds up his wounds.

 https://youtu.be/NtzrLpxM298