Christian Devotionals

"Lord, Blessed be Your Name"

A few weeks back, when I learned that my CT-scan results had taken a negative turn, a song popped into my head: "Blessed Be Your Name." As the oncologist told me that the once shrinking tumors in my lungs are now bigger and more numerous, these Matt and Beth Redman lyrics came to mind:

"Blessed be Your name when the sun's shining down on me when the world's all as it should be, blessed be Your name Blessed be Your name on the road marked with suffering though there's pain in the offering, blessed be Your name Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise When the darkness closes in Lord, still I will say Blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be Your name"

Not to compare myself to Job - my circumstances pale in comparison - but I'll quote him just the same:

"Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?"
(Job 2:10

All too often, God's daily blessings go unnoticed. We take the "little things" that I talked about in previous devotions for granted. Sometimes we do give thanks to God for the blessings, but we get angry and frustrated with Him when things turn south. How childish we all can be in our relationship with the Almighty. So here I was, receiving some startling and discouraging news from my doctor when my spirit kicks in with a chorus of "Blessed Be Your Name." The flesh would have cried out "Why have you forsaken me?" - but the spirit, the part of me in union with God's Spirit, chose to praise Him. Now I'm not one to use the word "coincidence" indiscriminately, especially when it comes to positive occurrences. I like to use the term "God-incidence" because I firmly believe and have steadily seen His hand in all things great and small. We have a great big God who is intimately involved in all the details of our lives. The following is a classic example of a "God-incidence." Our worship leader - who had no knowledge of how God popped that song into my head - put together the worship set and selected me to sing that very song.

I'm a singer on our church's worship team, but out of all the hundreds of songs that she could have selected and out of all the other singers she had to choose from, God picked that song for me to sing that week. Wow, do you see how the same Holy Spirit who is in me, my worship leader, and all believers connects us and orchestrates the events of our lives for Christ's glory?

As we prepared to sing that song at church, I was wondering if I'd be able to get through it without crying. This song was so deeply personal and I was concerned that my emotions would get the better of me. Yet in His power, I sang those powerful and poignant words and people were deeply moved. Once again, this proves what the apostle Paul says in Philippians 4: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." That verse is becoming more and more real in my life these days. It's giving me a new sense of confidence to press forward despite overwhelming odds. This is not a confidence in myself, but an unwavering confidence in a God who can be trusted to do what's best for us. Yes my family and I are indeed "on a road marked with suffering" and there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding this journey, but our Lord - Emmanuel - is with us. He is with you as well. If you're also traveling on such a road and feeling frightened and alone, take heart from these words:

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9 (New International Version)

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