Prepare My Heart to Praise You Then

I’ve said and heard many times in Bible studies before “It’s so much easier to praise God when life is going well for us.” It’s true. A few days ago I was feeling unusually joyful and happy about life. As I was singing worship songs in the two-hour drive I was taking that day, I prayed, “Prepare my heart to praise you then.” In the other times. In the less-easy-to-praise-God times. In the less-easy-but-immensely-important times.

I think of it as an infinite pattern of praise—praising God today for today and praising Him today for tomorrow. “Lord, I praise you today. And I praise You that when hard times come tomorrow, You will be with me. And I praise You because when you get me through the hard times of tomorrow, and I’m tempted to ignore You and boast in myself, You will be with me. And I praise You that when I’ve been humbled from that boasting that follows the hard time following the goodness of today, You will still be with me!”

And so this is what I’ve written over the past week:

Prepare my heart to praise You then
When darker days do come.
When earth gives way and mountains move,
Recall to me Your love.
Steadfast, I know it never leaves.
Each morning it is new.
I trust You for the coming doubt
That You will see me through.

The woes of earth surprise me not.
Already I rejoice.
I hide Your word within my heart
To always know Your voice.
With truth in hand, I’ll face the trials.
My double-edged sword
Cuts down the lies that pull me far
Away from Christ my Lord.

With eager heart, expect great things,
His glory coming soon,
A story of His faithfulness
To never-changing tune.
Steadfast, I know You never leave,
Each morning grace anew.
I trust You for the coming doubt
That you will see me through.

Some verses referenced:
Lamentations 3:21-22; Psalm 46:1-3; 1 Peter 4:12; James 1:2; Psalm 119:11; Psalm 105:5; John 10:3-5, 14-16; Hebrews 4:12; Romans 8:18

Let Me See (a hymn?)

For several years now I’ve had an interest in hymn writing. I haven’t quite mastered the art like I seek to, but I’ve dabbled. A little over a year ago, I gave it a go with the inspiration in an artistic Bible study. We were given a Bible passage (Mark 10:46-52) to meditate on for the week to see if it inspired us to create any form of art. So many things stood out to me in the passage, most all of which are addressed in my attempt at a hymn. My friend later helped me add chords to the words, though the current melody I use does not sound like a traditional hymn. I’m very open to others adding different melodies as one benefit of hymns is that with their consistent meters it can be easier to apply different tunes.

Speak, oh weak one, cry for mercy
Shout in faith that God will come
For the Lord so loves to listen
And restore the broken one

“Give me eyes and let me see you!
Make my body whole again
Give me eyes and let me see you!
Make my spirit well within.”

Let the world not overpower
Let the many back away
Jesus longs to hear the humble
Let the weak one have his say

“Give me eyes and let me see you!”
Cries the weak one to the Lord.
“Give me eyes and let me see you!
Make me pure forevermore.”

Come, oh weak one, run to Jesus
Throw aside the weight of sin
Faith has healed the blind man, jumping
Faith will let you live again

“Give me eyes and let me see you!”
Eager trusting in His name
“Give me eyes and let me see you,
Healer God, who cures the maimed.”

Go, and follow after Jesus
Eyes now open, watch His way
With His mercy, heart rejoicing
Always trust Him and obey

“Give me eyes and let me see you!
Make my body whole again.
Give me eyes and let me see you!
Make my spirit well within.”

He always holds my hand

I know God promises to never leave me or forsake me. Yet sometimes, I want a reminder. The doubt becomes too much. The struggle becomes too much. And I ask God to make His love real to me. I ask Him to show His face to me.

The other day a Facebook friend was struggling and posted on Facebook asking for prayer. So many people responded with genuine comments and prayers. Those things—little things—prayers, verses, sermons, songs, or uplifting words of a friend can be the beautiful signs of love God shares with us.

~~~

He always holds my hand,
But sometimes I need a squeeze
To remind me that He’s there
While looking after me

Promise still enduring
To be with me to the end
My ever-present Savior
My ever-faithful friend

He always holds my hand,
But sometimes I need a squeeze
To remind me that He’s kind,
And tenderly He sees.

His love still effecting,
To relieve my restless heart
My ever-gentle Savior,
I know, will not depart.

He always holds my hand
But sometimes I need a squeeze
To remind me that He reigns
Sovereign o’er my needs.

His hope still persisting
To subdue my mind’s despair.
My ever-winning Savior
Still holds my hand with care.

Nothing less, nothing more

I added a new verse.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name

On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

My hope is built on nothing more
Than Jesus’ love forevermore
His grace sufficient for my sin
In this pow’r I’m born again

On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand