In the morning you hear my voice…

O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch. Psalm 5:3 (ESV)

O Lord – the first person I speak to in the morning is you, Lord. For only you hear me in the truest, deepest sense of hearing.

in the morning – at the beginning of the day, I need you. I need you to hear me. I need you to answer me.

you hear my voice – you do hear me, Lord. You hear me to the depths of my soul, whether in joy or despair, faith or hopelessness

in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you – what is my sacrifice for you today, Father? I sacrifice my self-assurance, my self-confidence, my confidence in my own wisdom and strength.

and watch – I watch for your answer! You answer prayer all the time, faithful God, and I miss it too often because I’m looking for my answer, the answer I want. Help me to look for your answer.

“I shall again praise him…”

Why are you cast down, o my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Psalm 42:11

The longing to praise God doesn’t go away when I am in the depths of despair. I wrestle within my soul because I know the truth: God is my salvation and my hope, my only surety, the only one in whom I can fully trust. I know these things!

So, why I am struggling so? Why am I so sad?

Oh, God, is my wrestling with these thoughts worship? I am trying to work these things out before you. Am I giving you praise in the midst of it? And by that I mean am I looking to you alone for the answers? Praise is recognizing God, recognizing you, Father, for all you are. All of your majesty, all of your holiness, all of your love, all of your grace, all of your justice, all of your faithfulness, all of your steadfastness, all of your power.

As I cry out to you from the depths of my despair I am seeing through the tears, through the dimness of the dark day, that you are the only one I can turn to. You are the only one I can cry out to. So, I am praising you. I am worshiping you, even in the pain. I praise you in the dark as I seek your light.

There is a dawn coming. And in the light of that dawn, I will see you anew and afresh. I shall again praise you in the light of day.

My Faith Has Found a Resting Place

My Faith Has Found - graphic

A few weeks ago, the first line of this old hymn came to mind. I had it wrong, though. I remembered it as saying, “my soul has found a resting place.” When I looked up the words to the hymn, I discovered I got the line wrong, but it was OK. This song expresses so much of the WHY I can rest in God. Originally written in 1890 by E.E. Hewitt, the comforting and strengthening truths of our security in Christ’s finished work are worthy to be sung again and again.

My prayer is that this would be an encouragement to the church. Let me know what you think of it. If you would like a copy of the lead sheet, let me know in the comments or email me, thgmusic(at)gmail(dot)com.

words: E.E. Hewitt
music & additional words: Brad Pearson
Verse 1
My faith has found a resting place,
not in device nor creed;
I trust the Ever-living One,
His wounds for me shall plead.

Verse 2
Enough for me that Jesus saves,
this ends my fear and doubt;
a sinful soul I come to Him,
He’ll never cast me out.

Chorus
I need no other argument,
I need no other plea,
it is enough that Jesus died,
and that He died for me.

Verse 3
My heart is leaning on the Word,
the living Word of God,
salvation by my Savior’s name,
salvation through His blood.

Bridge
My great Physician heals the sick,
the lost He came to save;
for me His precious blood He shed,
for me His life He gave.

Verse 4
Now as I walk by faith, not sight,
my hope remains secure.
My Lord, who keeps His faithful word
shall help me to endure.

This arrangement ©2016 by Brad Pearson

Coming to the cross again

There will never be a day when I don’t have to fight for holiness. It will never come easily, but then, my inheritance was bought with precious blood. Why should I expect that my life in Christ should be a walk in the park?

Oh, give me strength, Lord, to carry on– each day coming to the cross and affirming again Your justice against my sin was paid for by Jesus. Justice, yes, and LOVE. (Rom. 5:8) Through Jesus, I have access to God’s grace daily. I have access to God’s unmerited favor towards me through the merit of Christ. I can rejoice! I have hope! Oh, fill me again with the sense of that hope and joy!

Thirsting and Hoping

Ps. 42: 1 “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?”

Ps. 43:5 “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”

I love the bookends of Ps. 42:1-2 and 43:5. In one of the most vivd word pictures of the Christian’s longing for fellowship with God, the psalmist speaks of his soul-thirst (Ps. 42:1-2). It is a poignant, powerful observation that God alone will satisfy the deepest thirst that we have: the thirst for living water.
Psalm 43 ends with the psalmist directly addressing his soul. It has been often said, perhaps best by Martin Lloyd-Jones, that we spend too much time listening to ourselves and not enough time talking to ourselves. The psalmist picks up this challenge and speaks directly to the very disquiet of his inmost being. It’s as if he is saying, “soul, don’t you remember who you were thirsting for and longing for just a short while ago? You were thirsting for the *living God*. You knew that only He could satisfy the deepest longing, the deepest appetite for nourishment and fulfillment. This same God is the One in Whom you will again find your hope. You will praise Him! Oh, remember!”
May God grant us the grace today to hope in Him.