Read His Words Before Ours!
One way my family can tell my mood is to pay attention to the music I’m listening to. They will tell you music is a window into my soul.
I would say it helps make my heart feel well.
This is especially true when I’m in a hard place.
I don’t know about you, but in those hard places, it can be hard to be worshipful. It’s not easy to lift your voice in praise when what you really want to do is cry or complain. But then you hear that song drawing you into worship, into praise and giving thanks in spite of heavy hearts. One such song for me is New Wine.
In the crushing
In the pressing
You are making
In the soil, I
You are breaking
Two things are necessary to make wine. First, the vinedresser must prune the grape vines, which is a cutting back so they actually produce more fruit.
It’s something God does to the believer as well.
And I can honestly tell you, I do not enjoy it!
Like when I had to give up some ministry work I loved. If I had surrendered in the soil to the pruning and gave thanks for how God was working, how much more would I have enjoyed those last moments in that ministry?
As a perfect Vinedresser, God never cuts back in order to harm us. His measured pruning clippings are always for our good and God’s glory (John 15:8). Knowing this, can we agree to give thanks the next time God takes out the pruning shears?
Pruning is first, but second is crushing and pressing of grapes to extract the juice.
Sisters, as I am writing this Journey, there is a lot of juice being produced in my life! It feels like I’ve graduated from buckets to vats!
Just like pruning produces something better than what’s being taken away,
so too does crushing and pressing.
Since worshipping the Lord through this song over and over,
my perspective has shifted.
I am “considering it all joy” (James 1:2-4) to be in the midst of the juice flowing freely.
I am thankful God is seeing fit to mature me in this way. I pray I keep this perspective the next time, because we all know there will be a next time! (John 16:33)
So I yield to You and to Your careful hand
When I trust You I don’t need to understand
It’s important to allow God to have His way with us.
He knows the whole story and how everything fits.
He wrote it!
So what looks like craziness to us, based on our limited knowledge, actually makes perfect sense. It didn’t make sense to me when I got laid off. Then, I realized we needed the severance package to handle unexpected expenses. Additionally, we were able to bless a ministry with some of it as well.
Trusting is more important than understanding.
In Joel, God tells His people how much good is forthcoming after all the “bad’ stuff.
I will repay you for the years
that the swarming locust ate,
the young locust, the destroying locust,
and the devouring locust—
my great army that I sent against you.
You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied.
You will praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you.
My people will never again be put to shame.
Since God never changes, we know His character promises are true for us too.
His goodness and mercy follow us (Psalm 23:6). We can never outrun His kindness; He will restore and redeem every place of brokenness and loss, even if it’s not in our timing.
Aren’t you so thankful He promises we’ll have plenty, be satisfied, and praise Him?
In fact, why don’t we get a head start on the praises!
‘Cause where there is new wine
There is new power
There is new freedom
And the kingdom is here
I lay down my old flames
To carry Your new fire today
Taking the perspective of being thankful “in spite of” can feel daunting.
But when we have received the power of the Holy Spirit, He crafts our hearts and fuels our faith to do exactly that.
How we walk through our lives – the good and bad, easy and hard – speaks volumes of the God we serve. When we choose praise, we shine Christ’s light to a world lost in darkness. God will use our offering of praise as sparks of love in others, ignites a hungry fire in them to know this God brings praise in the midst of difficulty. Our worship invites others to do the same, especially when it seems like we should be doing anything but lifting praise.
Jesus, bring new wine out of me
Jesus, we will be thankful. We will praise You. We will worship. No matter what.
Bring new wine out of us. Let it be so.
And all God’s girls say..
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!