I found another beautiful hymn written by the Prince of Preachers himself. I love hymns, and I adore Spurgeon’s writings, so naturally his hymns are some of my favorite to read. I’m surprised so few of them are still song today, but I’m thankful we have the ability to see them online. As you spend the morning live streaming, I hope that you are all safe, healthy, and growing in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
Can you think of any other paths that Scripture lays out for us to battle the sin of faithlessness? What is your favorite hymn when dealing with trials, or sorrow?
A Hymn From the Past
Far From the World, O Lord, I Flee – by William Cowper
Today’s hymn is another of William Cowper’s, again focusing on the way a Christian should handle crisis. It’s easy to say “be anxious for nothing” but far more difficult to do it, or to explain how one goes about doing it. Anxiety, fear, faithlessness, can overwhelm even the most seasoned believer. How many messages did I hear about being anxious for nothing in the WoF movement? Too many to count. Unfortunately, I can count all the ways we were taught not to be anxious on one hand. It was simple, you rebuke the fear and the cause of the fear, then ignore it. Cancer? Job loss? Pandemic? Oh no, don’t pay that any attention, proceed as if all is well and surely don’t confide in another church goer, or heaven forbid, a pastor or elder. That would be speaking negative confessions. The answer was actually not an answer, the anxiety wasn’t gone, we just had to keep our problems to ourselves.
What is the actual answer? God has given us means of handling anxiety and fear, rather than expecting us to ignore them or pretend our words have magical powers. I can name four different avenues for renewing our minds when fear threatens to overwhelm us, if you can think of more from Scripture please add them in the comments below. 1. Prayer – what does it really mean to be praying ceaselessly? It doesn’t mean becoming a monk, refusing to eat, sleep, or talk. But to be bringing our thoughts, concerns, praises, thanksgivings to the throne of God throughout the day. In this way, when anxiety or fear begins to bubble up in our minds we have a place of authority to take them. We can rest at the foot of the throne, pouring out our troubles before the God of the universe. One other point about prayer is that we can pray for one another, we don’t have to be alone in this. Asking believers for prayer, and praying for brothers and sisters-in-Christ is such a joy to me, as I often remember what it was like to keep it all inside.
2. Study – When we go to Scripture for devotions and study we learn about God, about His character, about the bigger picture that we tend to miss during our anxious days. We’re grounded again on the truth of God’s sovereignty, reminded of eternity, reminded of His call to share the Gospel, and reminded of mercy when we stumble into fearful anxiety. This is another thing we don’t have to do alone, we can have Bible studies together! 3. Worship – This is the actual point of this post, below is another beautiful hymn that reminds us of our true home. Job asked His wife about this, when she recommended that he just curse God and die. How could he do that? How could he praise God when everything was good, and then turn his back on God when things were, well, awful? When we give God the glory that He so truly is owed, even when we are hurting, we are reminded of the God we serve. Through the words of a Psalm or a hymn we can sing of His love, His mercy, His salvation, of all that He has already done. This takes our mind off of the momentary affliction and puts it where it out to be, reorienting our perspective back on what we have already been given! 4. Fellowship – final thought on this is how we can fellowship. True that right now we’re unable to meet in large numbers, but when we talk with one another about God, about our trials and His provisions, we are baring one another burdens. We’re not alone, we have a family, a body of believers, each with their own battles against the flesh. Alone we might feel like we’re the single most wretched sinner to ever be forgiven, but when we are brought together and enjoy a time of fellowship we see that God is sanctifying all of us. What a kindness God has given to His children!
Can you think of any other paths that Scripture lays out for us to battle the sin of faithlessness? What is your favorite hymn when dealing with trials, or sorrow? Mine is Pass Me Not by Fanny Crosby, but these lyrics below are also edifying and beautiful. I hope you are blessed by this hymn, and please let me know if there is anyway I could be praying for you. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
Far from the world, O Lord, I flee, From strife and tumult far; From scenes where Satan wages still His most successful war.
The calm retreat, the silent shade, With prayer and praise agree; And seem by Thy sweet bounty made For those who follow Thee.
There, if Thy Spirit touch the soul, And grace her mean abode, O with what peace, and joy, and love, She communes with her God!
There, like the nightingale, she pours Her solitary lays; Nor asks a witness of her song, Nor thirsts for human praise.
Author and Guardian of my life, Sweet Source of light divine, And, all harmonious names in one, My Saviour,–Thou art mine!
What thanks I owe Thee, and what love, A boundless, endless store, Shall echo through the realms above When time shall be no more!
William Cowper was born in the early 1700’s and spent many years in a deep depression. Eventually, having attempting suicide several times, he was placed in an insane asylum where he found a Bible and God graciously saved him. Later, after having moved, Cowper became good friends with John Newton who involves him in ministry to help him with the continued melancholy. This hymn below, written by Cowper, is a beautiful choice for this week when so many are concerned about the virus outbreak. I hope this will bless you today, as always beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform; He plants His footsteps in the sea And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines Of never failing skill He treasures up His bright designs And works His sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take; The clouds ye so much dread Are big with mercy and shall break In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, But trust Him for His grace; Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast, Unfolding every hour; The bud may have a bitter taste, But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err And scan His work in vain; God is His own interpreter, And He will make it plain.
In today’s episode, dear ones, Becca’s hubby joins us to discuss corporate worship. As the worship leader for their church, he has had to deal with whether or not bands like Hillsong or Elevation should be used for corporate worship. They detailed how they addressed this topic as members, and how to deal with it now as worship leaders. As you’ll remember, if you’ve listened before, Blake (or BlockA-B) went to Hillsongs college in Australia to study music before God graciously saved him. Coming from the heretical Word of Faith movement himself, he and Becca know first hand the dangers of this music.
I hope that this episode will be a blessing to you all, and that you’ll join me in praying for our leaders in our churches. They hear a lot of complaints, regardless of which direction they go in everyone won’t always be happy with their choices. Remember to hold your leaders accountable to Gods Word, to hold them up in prayer, and to be encouraging to them. You can find the podcast at our host site, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify. Those links are all in my profile, or here at this link. If there’s a platform you’d like to see Tulips & Honey on, or if you’re interested in joining the T&H Hub please let me know, you can comment below or shoot me an email. Also, if you like to podcast don’t forget to like, comment, share, & subscribe. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.