This past week has been one of those weeks that life just throws at you. In short, it’s been kind of terrible. It happens to all of us, but for me, I encountered some serious doubt in the Lord this week.
Recently, I had an unwanted talk with my support raising coach. To give you a quick summary, I’m not where I need to be with my support raising. He told me my numbers from an honest perspective and how they didn’t look so well. I hung up feeling defeated and to be honest- really pissed off the Lord didn’t provide the way I expected Him to. My finances are also really tight as it’s been a month of residency and I don’t get paid until the 15th, thus I have no idea how to pay my rent that’s due. If that were not enough, on Friday my car ran out of gas because of the gas shortage my fellow Austinites created. I had to get around via carpooling with my roommates. The power adapter to my computer that I desperately needed to answer emails and complete invoices suddenly went missing as well.
You could say I had some doubts the Lord was out for my good. I was also just freaking mad the Lord would orchestrate a terrible week for me. But here’s what He taught me this week:
The Lord was teaching me about His Lordship, His kindness as Provider, and His character as Father. He’s not fading or surprised about us coming to Him with our problems, in fact, He loves when we come to Him (Luke 12:30-32). I’m always finding myself clinging to the word in Matthew 6/Luke 12 (Luke’s account), especially when things go wrong.
I’ve also come to a point in my walk with Jesus where even though I don’t feel or worship in Spirit- I know the character of God from what the Truth dictates. Even when He destroys things I put hope in, I know He’s still good and trustworthy. In Jonah 4, Jonah was angry because God didn’t destroy Nineveh after they had just repented. Even though Jonah’s first response was not to worship, Jonah knew the character of God. (See below).
4 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. 2 And he prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. 3 Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
I’ll say this again- Even when God throws away my desires and expectations; I know He is still good and merciful despite how disappointed I am.
Then came Sunday. . .
In the midst of my week, I was also given the opportunity to lead worship for Austin Stone North Campus Students. Immediately, I was thrust into forming a band, creating a set list around the message, providing my musicians with resources, scheduling rehearsals, preparing a call to worship, keeping communication with my band for the weekend, setting up everything audio in the student’s annex, and also coming super early on Sunday morning. This was all happening during the chaos. . . By Sunday it was all worth it.
My knees were shaking as I nervously stood before 70-something students and adult volunteers. The Lord had still entrusted ME to lead them through song. As we opened with ‘One Thing Remains’ – My heart was stirred to worship by students singing great Gospel truths; His love for us is unending. For ‘You are God and you are Good’ – I was reminded that He’s God, He’s in control, and that I could trust that He is still good. Finally, I closed with ‘Singing in the Victory’ – this is a song that our people have been singing at the Austin Stone for the past year. The song starts with the simple verses-
“I will not be anxious, for Jesus You are near.
The peace of God surrounding me is casting out all fear.
The hand that hold’s the heavens is the mighty hand that saves.
The voice that calms the storming seas is calling me by name.”
There’s nothing that I’m going through that Jesus hasn’t already suffered through. Jesus is with us. Furthermore, He’s the One who hold’s the universe by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3).
“I’m singing in the victory, the victory of the Cross.
I’m resting in the shadow of Your redeeming love.
I’m standing on the Promise, the promise of new life.
I am Yours forever and Jesus You are mine.”
It was not an easy feat for Jesus to purchase us, He had to suffer and give Himself away for us (Philippians 2:7-9).
“When I have forgotten the fullness of Your grace.
I remember Calvary, where You took my place!”
Into the bridge-
“There is no one like You God, love immeasurable and strong.
There is no one like You God, lead this heart to sing in awe.”
No close friendship, no relationship, no marriage could ever compare to the companionship of God. Even in the midst of my struggles I still have a reason to sing in the victory. There will be a day where I won’t have to struggle with rent, instead, I’ll live in a mansion the Lord Jesus built for me! (John 14:2). There will be a day where I won’t need gas for my car – I’ll marvel at the streets made of gold (Revelations 21:4). . . That is a promise waiting for every believer.
May the Master help my unbelief!
Side by side,
You can watch a few clips from Sunday below. Use headphones for best audio quality. Unfortunately, ‘Singing in the Victory’ hasn’t actually been released yet so I opted not to take a video of it. It will be on the new album dropping late fall!
Call to Worship: Psalm 29:10-11
You are God and You are Good (Bridge)
You are God and You are Good (Final Chorus)