LOVE SONGS AND REAL FAITH

10 11 2018

I am a lover of “Love Songs.” As a hopeless romantic, I have always favored those big ballads that celebrate the highs and lows of relationships. Barry Manilow is one of my all time favorite performers because music and passion are always in fashion when he records another hit single. I cherish tunes with lots of key changes and that big high note finish!

How about you? What are some of your all time favorite love songs? If you have somebody sitting near you as you read this, turn to that neighbor and share one of yours with them. I’d say, “sing it to them,” but that could cause problems! One of my favorite odes to romance is a song written by the Gershwin’s entitled, “Our Love Is Here To Say.” Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Perry Como, Wayne Newton, Harry Connick, Michael Bublé and many other Crooners took a crack at it but in my opinion, the best version is the one by Nat King Cole. One of the greatest voices that God ever gave a human being comes out of the mouth of Nat King Cole. When he sings, “In time the Rockies may crumble, Gibraltar may tumble, they’re only made of clay but our love is here to stay.”

Over the years, I have written and sung many love songs to my wife Terri and my Lord Jesus. To express my appreciation and devotion comes pretty easily for me. My fault is not having enough to say but maybe saying a bit too much. A song with 27 verses may get a bit monotonous! I’ll tell you one composition you wouldn’t find in my notebook. I have never constructed a tune that told of my unfailing appreciation for all my trials and tribulations. As a matter of fact, I have put together my own psalms begging God to take away all my hard times and keeping my path free from detours. Pain and its scheming companions like affliction, suffering, hardship and adversity are often seen as the invading enemies of life. Whenever I spy one of those coming at me, I tend to turn and run.

Truth be told, in our comfort-at-all-costs culture, when our comfort zones get the squeeze, we get angry. Yet according to the Bible, pain is a necessary part of life. And although we may not like it, we can learn to grow through it by learning its lessons. There’s a holy tension involved in trying to accept the pain that God allows while at the same time fighting to overcome it. I fluctuate between my desire to worship God and yet still whine to Him. One moment I want to hug Him and a second later, slug Him. It is of great importance that we learn to see pain from God’s perspective.

The Bible reveals that suffering is both inevitable and essential. Contrary to the TV Preachers who wear their Rolexes and drive their Rolls Royce to their gold studded studio pulpits, the “health and wealth gospel” that falsely proclaim that if Christians just have enough faith, they won’t suffer, Jesus said that in this world we would have our fill of trials and tribulations. You can be holy and harried. You can pray and still be pummeled. You can read your Bible and still be bullied by the things of this culture. I’m not saying that we have to pretend to cherish our persecution but let’s not forget that God informed us that He would use these difficulties to deliver us to look more like the Lord we claim to follow.

In Christianity, the word “comfort” means more than just soothing someone’s sorrow. It means “strengthening” what has already been made solid once but now is being rebolstered and refurbished so it can handle even more pressure. Christians don’t bring Jesus to the mix but they actually reveal the truth that He is already there. When we shine our light, we expose to what those living in darkness just can’t see. Though the enemy receives exhilaration by putting the squeeze on our earthly comfort, God’s spiritual truths will always open the door to an inexplicable strength, peace, and joy. When we understand that every single Believer is going to battle sin and take on temptation, and experience both good and bad times, maybe we can learn that our songs aren’t always going to have lyrics that are happy and peppy and bursting with love. If you have been married for any length of time, you know that life has got to get deeper than just the romantic ballads. Life also includes songs for the battle and melodies of forgiveness, and music for mourning and a larger catalogue than just positive pop. Jesus taught us how to sing the songs of loneliness and for the joy set before us, endure the crosses that we are destined to carry.

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Real faith lasts. It might get rocked and roll. It might get shaken, rattled and dashed. The enemy will throw everything at Believers including the kitchen sink. The pure power is not that I sing, “I Believe,” but even through it all, “I Still Believe.” Because Jesus Christ Himself has invaded my heart and soul, I have decided to follow Him and not turn back. Jesus has given us His word and we have His life on it that even though in time the Rockies may crumble, Gibraltar may tumble, they’re only made of clay but, God’s love is here to stay! I still believe.


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