Thursday, May 14, 2020

Hopeful Hymns in Uncertain Times (part 6)

During these uncertain times, it is important to hear from God's word and from godly counsel. One of the resources that provides us with good Christian teaching is good Christian music. Hymns, both new and old, are a treasure for the church as we seek to sing spiritual songs that remind us of great truths. My hope is that these little devotionals will encourage Christians in days of trial. 

"A Christian's Daily Prayer"
Matt Merker, Jordan Kauflin, and Dave Fournier

The most modern hymn featured in this series thus far was written by some of the most influential Reformed musicians of the day. Jordan Kauflin is the son of Bob Kauflin and Matt Merker is on staff at Mark Dever's church in Washington, D.C. I don't know anything about Dave Fournier and I couldn't find much online. In any case, these three men came together to compose one of the best contemporary hymns the church can sing today.

This song's title reflects the theme of the album on which it is found (Prayers of the Saints [Live]), highlighting the centrality of a Christian's communication with his Maker. Bob Kauflin oversaw the project and had this to say about the songs:
The Christian life isn’t one triumph after another. We endure suffering, sin, persecution, and temptation while fixing our gaze on Jesus’ promised coming...So we wrote lyrics like these to sing on the journey.
I've been majorly blessed by this album and I know you will be, too.

As morning dawns and day awakes,
to You I bring my need.
O gracious God, my Source of strength,
in You I live and breathe.
Each hour is Yours by wisdom planned,
each deed empowered by sovereign hands.
Renew my spirit, help me stand;
be glorified today!

The "daily" aspect of this song is described in its opening line, teaching the listener to enter each day with this posture. Man is totally and utterly dependent on God for all of life and we all must rely on His almighty kindness for each breath. This verse ends the way they all do in this song, calling for God to be glorified in the day. This, of course, is the Christian's supreme goal. The Holy Spirit says, "Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God," (1 Corinthians 10:31b).

As day unfolds, I seek Your will
in all of life’s demands;
and though the tempter tries me still,
I cling to Your commands.
Let every effort of my life
display the matchless worth of Christ.
Make me a living sacrifice;
be glorified today!

Preeminent in the Christian's mind should be the will of God in all things. God receives glory by the demonstration of His will and His people need to seek to be instruments in His hand by seeking that will. Starting with the prescriptions found in the Holy Bible, disciples of Jesus can submit to the Lord in every area of life in order to display His matchless worth. Though there is reference to Romans 12:1-2 here, I'm reminded of Galatians 5.

As sun gives way to darkest night,
Your Spirit still is here.
And though my strength fades like the light,
new mercies will appear.
I rest in You; abide with me
until our trials and suffering
give way to final victory.
Be glorified today; be glorified, I pray!

To conclude this hymn, we're taken to the dark moments of life. When the events of life seem adversarial to us, we can still put the full weight of our trust in the mercies of God who provides us with supernatural rest. This life is full of suffering that is not worthy to be compared with the eternal weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). With that heavenly vision, the child of God clings to Christ through every hill and valley.

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