In Christ Alone

O Lord, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory

above the heavens.

From the lips of children and infants

you have ordained praiseb

because of your enemies,

to silence the foe and the avenger.

When I consider your heavens,

the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars,

which you have set in place,

what is man that you are mindful of him,

the son of man that you care for him?

You made him a little lower than the heavenly beingsc

and crowned him with glory and honor.

You made him ruler over the works of your hands;

you put everything under his feet:

all flocks and herds,

and the beasts of the field,

the birds of the air,

and the fish of the sea,

all that swim the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

view from my apartment complexThis Psalm (Psalm 8) is unequivocally my favorite psalm in the Bible. King David had such a wonderful gift at speaking words of truth in beautiful ways. This particular psalm communicates just a taste of the wonder and majesty of Almighty God. I was standing on the balcony of my apartment complex today, looking out over Rocklin and Roseville… looking across the freeway and across the soccer field…and feeling so much awe at God’s creation. It’s not a new experience for me at all – I’ve felt it many times before, and I know that I am not the only one. My sister has spoken many times about it as well, even writing about it on her own blog on a few occasions. view from my apartment complex looking southwestNow, I know it’s easy to argue over what exactly the feeling is – whether it is “joy” as C.S. Lewis called it, or something else entirely. But the amazing thing is that it is actually painful in one sense, and yet equally good. It’s like the silly phrase “hurts so good.” It really does. I wish I could communicate the feeling with words, which I suppose is why I am writing this, but I know that I will never even begin to explain the sensation. It is just one of those supernatural things that will never be fully understandable until we reach eternity. It’s that feeling you get when you see cars driving down the freeway while just in the distance is a beautiful stretch of nature expanding as far as the eye can see. It’s the feeling you get as you look at clouds swirling in the sky, or when you’re sitting quietly reading a good book outside – away from any other person. I’m convinced that the only appropriate response is just absolute worship. Not worship of nature, or worship of the feeling, but worship of the One who created both.

I’m not a perfect person, I know that. I’ve struggled with sins many times in my life, and I still do. I have acted in anger, frustration, and contempt. I’ve held grudges, and I’ve allowed my mind to dwell on things that are sinful. But when I stand in the presence of God and experience that longing – that joy – all I can feel is gratitude. Almighty God, the creator of all that is in the earth – unimaginably holy and pure – died on a cross so that I can be free to worship Him, despite my past. He has set me free from sin, and allowed me to stand in his presence and praise him. What an amazing gift that is.

The one thing that is so difficult to bear is being unable to fully satisfy that longing for relationship with Him. At least in this life. That is what makes joy so horribly painful, while still so wonderfully good. I know that one day there will be a way to satisfy the longing – but not until eternity. But even though I cannot fully be satisfied in this life, I can do the next best thing: I can worship and praise him in this life. It might not fully satisfy me, the way it will one day, but it is the only thing that can bring ANY satisfaction in this life.

“In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand”

 

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About Renegade4Christ

I am a strong supporter of limited government and the voice of the people in government. I am also a believer in Christ Jesus as the way, truth, and life, and I know that you can experience his love as well, if you are willing to place your trust in Him!
This entry was posted in Christian Perspective, Life. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to In Christ Alone

  1. blauren says:

    Just wonderful, Evan. I actually just experienced this feeling right before reading this blog post, while I was walking the hills up Spanish Dry Diggins (cows, meadows, vineyards, clouds, wind, water). Mmm. I felt that desire to express myself in and could only sigh in the presence of my beautiful Creator. Thank you for writing this. 🙂

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