I have a song that Jesus gave me!
Last updated 10/30/2008 at Noon
It’s almost November…the season of thanksgiving, and gratitude, and song! I love this time of the year, when the days finally start growing cooler after a long hot summer, and when the hearts of children and families, once again, begin eagerly anticipating the joyful arrival of the holidays!
No matter what season we’re in, no matter how “sunny” or “cloudy” the skies, Paul declares: “How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we belong to Christ” (1:3). In fact, there’s a beautiful passage in this letter that has always inspired and encouraged me. It says: “Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you. Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts. And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!” (Ephesians 5:18-20)
From the very beginning, the people of God are those who SING! – come rain or come shine! But probably my favorite story of all is found in Acts 16 where Paul and Silas are thrown in prison, and wind up “praying and singing hymns to God.” It was “about midnight,” the Bible says – that ominous time of darkness and uncertainty. And yet, in spite of it all, there they were, singing praises at the top of their lungs… “and the other prisoners were listening to them” (16:25). You remember what happens next: an earthquake strikes, and fearing that all the prisoners escaped, the guard starts to kill himself. But Paul cries out: “Don’t do it! We’re all here!”
Have you ever wondered: Why didn’t all those other prisoners just fly out of there when they had the chance? The Bible doesn’t specifically say. But I’ve often thought maybe… just maybe they had never seen such thankfulness in the face of such bad treatment and abuse, and they were absolutely awe-struck by it. Maybe… just maybe they felt compelled to stick around – to see more, to learn more from these strange and wonderful singers in the night! Oh! Wouldn’t it be something if we in the church were also marked by our thankfulness and gratitude above all else – no matter what our circumstances! Wouldn’t it be something if the church were truly known by everyone as those people who are “always giving thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!”
Folks, we can sing today – even at the 11th hour – even in the face of darkness and uncertainty, and in the midst of all kinds of challenging pressures – for one reason: Because we belong to Christ … and he has truly “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms!” Do you believe that? … Do you really?… Then, that’s worth singing about!
“By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me – a prayer to the God of my life.” Psalm 42:8