The Beauty of Grace

I am grieving over the sudden death of a good friend. I am deeply saddened for a family that no longer has a son. The evil of cancer attempts to break the most valiant warrior and the rampage of an incurable disease is relentless. My heart is heavy and burdened in prayer for precious friends.

God, please help them to wait patiently for you. Please incline your ear to hear their cry. Draw them up from the pit of destruction, out of the filthy swamp. Set their feet upon a rock, make their steps secure. Put a new song in their mouths, a song of praise to you, God. You are their help and their deliverer; do not delay, O my God. (Based on Psalm 40:1-3; 17)

In my downcast state of mind this morning, I recalled a song that I heard at Redeemer, an urban church in Indianapolis, where I worship and serve in children’s ministry. My friends ask, why did this happen … yet they may never learn the answer to that question on this side of heaven but what they are certain of is that they will experience the beauty of God’s grace in calamity … day by day, moment by moment, morning, noon, and evening. I know that his kindness is steadfast, He has anchored my soul in his peace.

Listen to the song here: For HIs Own Sake (live).mp3 written and performed by Nathan Partain, Director of Worship and Culture at Redeemer Indy.

What does it mean to love the almighty God when he allows calamity? What should we expect in this life? After spending much time in the word and prayer, after trying to teach these truths to myself and those around me, this song comes and it sums up one of the largest truths that has emerged during this season. That I do not love God for what he does for me. I love him for who he is alone. That is what it means to really love. He is worthy of my love, my strength, my devotion and honor. And it is not just that I am obliged to give my everything to him. I want to. In fact, there is nothing I want more than to give my all to my God. This song was recorded live in worship on Palm Sunday.  —Nathan Partain   http://partainwordsandmusic.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/for-his-own-sake/

For His Own Sake

I have seen the bright birth of the morning,
I have worked through the sweat of the day.
I have laughed as the summer rains poured down from heaven,
and I’ve harvested oceans of grain.

I have worked and I’ve worked and had nothing,
I have prayed and I’ve prayed but no rain,
I have lost to the fire, storm and locust,
And woke up to find all my land left in shame.

Still each morning and noon and in evening,
I will trust my Lord and bless his name.
Never seeking the gain but the Giver,
So I love him for nothing but for his own sake.

I have made the mistake that my blessing,
Means the favor of God on my ways,
And thought every hardship, his anger against me,
And cried out in darkness for grace.

Now I know that his kindness is steadfast,
He has anchored my soul in his peace,
So that suffering is now just the pangs of my hunger,
to know the embrace of my King.

Still each morning and noon and in evening,
I will trust my Lord and bless his name.
Never seeking the gain but the Giver,
So I love him for nothing but for his own sake.

I have learned that this world is not truest,
There’s a hope held securely beyond,
And since Jesus has suffered through my own destruction,
I entrust my all to my God.

I have seen deepest loss bring rejoicing,
Seen a mother with her stillborn sing praise,
I have seen those abused and those ravaged by sickness,
Through tears and in anguish give thanks.

Still each morning and noon and in evening,
I will trust my Lord and bless his name.
Never seeking the gain but the Giver,
So I love him for nothing but for his own sake.

—Nathan Partain

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