A pastor friend of mine posts a “Wednesday what if” on his Facebook page every week – typically a question meant to stir vigorous debate… he always ends his post with “be kind”. Most times, people are respectful as they share their opinions, but sometimes it gets ugly, even among Christians. (Who’d have thunk?)
A couple Wednesday’s ago, his question was centered around using music in church that was written/composed by someone who later renounced their faith or had some other moral failure. The examples he used were Horatio Spafford’s beloved hymn, “It is Well”, and Michael Grungor’s “Beautiful Things”. Spafford apparently started an end-time cult toward the end of his life, and Grungor renounced his faith in Jesus Christ after he and his wife experienced turmoil in their life.
People shared their strong opinions on both sides of the fence, but my favorite response was this: “we should only use the songs given to us by God in the Psalms”.
I literally laughed out loud when I read it because, of course, the Psalms were written by King David, who lived a holy and blameless life…. not.
If there’s a character of the bible that I love more than Peter, it’s David. He certainly made a mess of things in his life, but God still calls him a man after His own heart. If the account of King David and the Psalms that he wrote do nothing else, they should give us all hope that, even when we mess up, God still loves us. The Psalms are full of the anguish that David felt when he faced struggles in life.
As you all know, this past month has been one of a brutal spiritual battle for me. I’ve known with my head that God is with me…. that I belong to Him and that nobody or no thing can ever snatch me away from Him… but that doesn’t mean everything will always be great. In fact, the Bible is clear that “in this world there will be trouble”. Sometimes that trouble we bring on ourselves by choices and decisions we make; and sometimes that trouble is brought on by things outside of our control.
I have agonized over my faith in the past couple of weeks, in my very darkest of dark when I felt as though God wasn’t hearing me, or worse, not responding because I had done something wrong. I have felt guilty when my faith wasn’t stronger, but cried out to God in complete and utter exhaustion when I finally realized the entire situation was WAY bigger than I could handle on my own… in fact, I couldn’t handle ANY of it on my own, and had to surrender everything I am to God.
I feel as though I’ve had a glimpse into David’s anguish… and a am very comforted by the book of Psalms… comforted to know that even men after God’s own heart struggled with some of the same things I struggle with… and felt the anguish that I feel when we’re waiting for God to answer prayer.
By the way, my opinion on the matter of the songs from people who’ve messed up in life… if God inspired their writing in the first place, He can still use it for His glory, perhaps even to bring the lost sheep back to the fold. God is still in the miracle business..
Be blessed today, my friends,