Janis & I were commenting to each other, yesterday, about the timely selection of songs and preaching at GFC that really ministered to our needs in the wake of Wednesday’s news of our miscarriage. These songs were selected in advance by our worship leader, Josh, before he had knowledge of our loss. Sunday’s sermon on the Supremacy of God from John 17 (please, please have a listen!) was part of a series that’s been going for more than a year. In His sovereignty, our almighty God brought these things together in such a way as to be a blessing for us in our need.
Here are two of the songs from Wednesday’s prayer meeting service:
Be Still My Soul
Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.
Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
Be still, my soul: Begin the song of praise
On earth, be leaving, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.
Like A River Glorious
Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.
Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.
Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there.
Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
We may trust Him fully all for us to do;
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.
And from Sunday’s services:
Abide With Me
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Thou on my head in early youth didst smile,
And though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee.
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.
I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
Out Of The Depths (Ps. 130)
Out of the depths, O Lord, I cry to You
When I am tempted to despair
Though I might fail to trust Your promises
You never fail to hear my prayer
And if You judged my sin
I’d never stand again
But I see mercy in Your hands
So more than watchmen for the morning
I will wait for You, my God
When my fears come with no warning
In Your Word I’ll put my trust
When the harvest time is over and I still see no fruit
I will wait, I will wait for You
The secret mysteries belong to You
We only know what You reveal
And all my questions that are unresolved
Don’t change the wisdom of Your will
In every trial and loss
My hope is in the cross
Where you compassions never fail
Before The Cross
My Savior’s sacrifice paid for all my sin
So in my suffering I look to the cross again
No need, no want, no trial, no pain
Can compare to this
The wrath of God, once meant for me
Was all spent on Him
Before the Cross, I humbly bow
I place my trust in the Savior
Your finished work captures my gaze
You bore the wrath, I know the grace
In my darkest hour, Your presence is my peace
In my days of joy, Your grace carries me
Jesus, my Great High Priest
The One who pleads for me
My heart is filled with faith in You
Here at Calvary on my knees
It Is Well With My Soul
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
Special Bonus: When running an errand late last night, “Rescue” by Newsboys came on the radio. The lyrics include:
Over the years your nature’s way
Is turning wrongs into roles you play
Caught in a spell that’s overcast
You gain perspective: it doesn’t last
All of the time in this life
Can’t loose the ties that blind you
They’re new everyday, old as the fall
And I was born in the mess of it all
It’s not just these songs were selected to coincide with our time of difficulty. It’s that we could sing them wholeheartedly because we knew the words, the tune (as much as I ever do; standard apologies apply to those who stand near me when I sing) and the message the songs convey. This is the power of regular attendance and participation in a gospel-centred church. When trials come we are ready to face them with songs and scriptures in mind because we have been well prepared. There is no sense of panic, no scrambling for scraps of meaning – we know who is in control, we know His nature and we know His power.
There is value in singing songs of reliance and trust even in times of blessing and abundance, that our hearts should never be caught off guard.