For the Name

There are so many things that one finds on the internet.  When I logged into YouTube, I searched for Jars of Clay’s “The Valley Song.”  Near the end of this video is the poem pasted below, which I found to be moving and an excellent reminder of how great and merciful is my God.  Both the song and the poem complement one another to a tee.  I do not post this to act like an Eeyore.  Sometimes I think there is a tendency in the church to indirectly-directly avoid discussing the subject of suffering.  This theme runs throughout the entire Old and New Testaments.  When it comes to grief, do I see the Lord and his people as safe ones with my heart?  I state the question this way in order to distinguish between the suffering that comes from disobedience, and the suffering that results from obedience.

The Psalms and Job are wonderful Old Testament books filled with men and women pouring out their grieving hearts to God.  Some of the writings in the Psalms depict the penitent attitude of its author such as Psalm 32 and 51.  The entire book of Job overturns the naive notion that followers of Christ will not face suffering in this life for their obedience.  When it comes to the New Testament, one of the best books of the bible about suffering is First Peter.  The entire letter is essential reading, but especially chapters two through four, which deal with the subject of suffering for the sake of Christ.  It is so easy to overlook the fact that Jesus, his apostles, and the first Christians, experienced immense favor in the midst of great persecution.

Some early Christians wound up prison, others were executed, and some died in the Roman Coliseum while thousands looked on as lions tore them to pieces.  I am thankful and blessed for living in a nation where such extremes or similar ones do not take place. Unfortunately, this is not the case with other nations of the world.  Persecution for the name of Christ is a blessing according to the apostle Peter (1 Peter 2:19-20 & 3:14, ESV).  This goes against conventional wisdom, but it must be faced honestly.  When reading the poem, reflect on the safety within God’s presence.  He has our hearts in his hands.  They are big and strong hands, but also gentle, too.  Praise him for the goodness and blessing, but may I nudge my readers to reflect on those believers who face death for aligning with the Lord.

 

 

“When the pain of this world

Is just too much to bear

I run to your seat of mercy

I know I will find solace there

 

“I am safe and secure

Beneath your wings of love

With comfort that only

Can come from you above

 

 

“Yes grace and mercy

I can always find with you

My God and my Savior

You guard me in all I do

 

 

“My pain you seem to ease

My troubles you help me bear

I will never forget Lord

Just how much you care”

 

 

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