Unfortunately, due to copyright laws in different regions outside the USA, our service is being blocked in some countries, so we put together two services, a USA version and an international version, which includes a synopsis of the movie clip that is shown in the USA version.
Welcome to our Sunday Worship Service for March 14, 2021. We will be continuing on in the Lenten worship series entitled, Purple Theory. Today we will be discovering the importance of confession as a spiritual practice, which makes us draw closer closer to God by laying our sin and burdens at the foot of the cross and turning back to God. Let us discover how this discipline can bring us hope, healing, and wholeness.
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“I lift up my eyes to the hills–from where will my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”
Who walks through life without ever having been affected by a storm or a series of storms? When I use the word storm, I am not meaning a literal storm such as a tornado, a hurricane or a typhoon; rather, I am speaking metaphorically. The kind of storm I am talking about are the conflicts, the stress, the bad circumstances, the uncertain times, and other events that interrupt our lives and unsettle us to the very core. These metaphorical storms leave us feeling insecure, battered, uncertain, fearful, confused, depressed, bitter, and perhaps even angry and resentful.
As I am writing this devotion, I am listening to a song called “Praise You In This Storm” by the Grammy Award winning Christian rock band, Casting Crowns. The song was inspired by a little ten year old girl named Erin Browning who was a fan of the bands. In fact, there is even a home video of the Erin dancing to one of Casting Crowns’ songs posted on YouTube. Needless to say, the band came across the video and set out to meet this little fan of theirs. Right around the time that they met her, little Erin was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare and deadly form of bone cancer.
During the several months following the diagnosis, the band kept in contact with the family. The lead singer/songwriter, Mark Hall, was inspired to write the song about her as her faith in God, despite her awful and horrifying circumstances, made him evaluate his own faith. He even shared with Erin that he was writing the song; however, she never lived to see it’s completion. Several months after her diagnosis, Erin took her last labored breath and passed away. Out of that little girl’s struggle came these words, written by Mark Hall: “I’ll praise you in this storm and I will lift my hands, for you are who you are no matter where I am. Every tear I’ve cried You hold in Your hand. You’ve never left my side and though my heart is torn, I will praise you in this storm.”
These lyrics make no claim that storms will cease to be in our lives; however, they do proclaim how our faith in God can certainly carry us through those storms. Each of us goes through storms in our lives, the question is how we will weather the storms. Will the storms cause us to fear, to be embattled, to grow bitter, to remain confused, to hide and/or to hate, or will we grow stronger in our faith and trust that God will see us through the storm…one way or the other? Do we believe we are left to face these storms all alone, or do we have faith in the God who calms the stormy seas with the simple command, “Peace, be still!”
No matter what the storm is, no matter what is troubling the waters you find yourself in, know that God is with you. Know that God is carrying you and will carry you through this. Know that God’s presence is not only in theory or in spirit, but in reality through other people. They could be your family, they could be your friends, they could be a stranger displaying and act of random kindness; regardless, God has blessed us with God’s presence in Spirit, in Truth and through the lives others.
Know that you are not alone. Know that you are loved. Know that God is with you and that God will get you through the storms in your lives. Be thankful for the ones that God put in your life who are supportive of you. Be confident in God’s everlasting presence and find it in yourself to praise God in this storm, for this storm, too, shall pass.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY
“As the thunder rolls, [hear God’s] whisper through the rain, ‘I’m with you.’” – Mark Hall
Lord, though storms of life can be harrowing give me the strength to trust in you and to praise you despite them. Amen.