Singing from the photocopied order of worship.
Singing with the saints.
I have worshipped with some of these dear people for more than twenty years.
We’ve welcomed babies, raised children, suffered disappointments, battled diseases, rejoiced at weddings, buried parents, and waged battle with sin through all those years. Our trust in our sovereign, loving Father runs deep.
An old hymn today:
“What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.”
I smile and thank God for this beautiful, imperfect, grace-soaked bunch of brothers and sisters as we start the second verse together:
“Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?”
A word in the next phrase is written in — the word “stay”.
Instead of, “We should never be discouraged,” the text now reads, “We should never stay discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.”
I’m glad it’s okay to be discouraged. David was. He poured out his heart to God. He told Him how he felt, and a lot of times he felt pretty bad. His prayers, his psalms, are what I turn to, what I pray, when I’m discouraged. Like David, as I pray those prayers and stake my hope on the character and promises of God, I don’t have to stay discouraged.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (Psalm 42:11).