All throughout this week I’ve been agonising over a ‘relevant’ topic to write about this week- a topic not too close to the event that it seems insensitive when I do delve into my opinion (so that immediately strikes out the events in Christchurch a few weeks ago!), nor a topic too controversial (cause I’ve already blogged about George Pell!). I was at a bit of a loss, particularly as I missed last week’s post due to life getting in the way; and I didn’t want to make the gap between blogs too long. I thought about and seriously toyed with the idea of writing about why recently mainstream artists release Christian albums/songs and their own thought processes behind it- because I was fascinated and reminded of this gem when I was helping Jon and looking at previous Dove Award nominations in preparation for his Dove Award nominations predictions 2019 post; and found out that Snoop Dogg’s gospel album being nominated for a Dove Award last year. Then it hit me that an analysis of ‘Christian’ albums and songs by mainstream artists would take multiple weeks (which will in fact be coming soon!) and today had to be a post that was short. So that was it, I was frustrated, and it was back to the drawing board. Soon I was resigned to the fact that maybe Flashback Fridays would fade to oblivion, if I didn’t gain my passion back for the series which I so heavily posted in the front half of last year.
But just a few hours ago, while I was listening to Danny Gokey’s new single “Love God Love People”, and not even thinking about Flashback Fridays; God spoke to me. Not literally, but the sense that I was receiving from God was that there was still something greater, something beautiful, something wonderful, something joyous and something celebratory to sing and speak about, even when we’re in the depths of despair and confusion. There’s something to be singing about which is as joyous and infectious as what Danny is singing about in “Love God Love People”. And that something is the fact that Jesus lives inside all of us and is with us all the time. Huh, hang on, don’t we know that already? Yep, this fact is something that is not new. It’s something that is the basis for Christianity, and it’s something that should give us comfort, joy, peace beyond all understanding, and a sense of thankfulness and gratitude. Yet for some reason, and this is me going out on a limb; I reckon some Christians are as glum as anything, just coasting through life without any grasp on what Jesus actually did on the cross and then three days later when he resurrected.
You see, I think that if you sit for a while and actually ponder about the reason why we are free and the reason why we can live like we have no chains; then we will live out that truth, and live it with no burdens and with no weight on our shoulders. Even if hardships occur, the fact that we have eternity with Jesus to look forward to, and the fact that we know that God has our life in His hands and has the whole world in His hands; means we can live life with joy through the hardships. The concept may be heretical and blasphemous to some, but I believe it to be true. That’s not to say we have to live life like it’s sunshine and rainbows all the time and we can’t feel pain or sorrow; but rather instead of us feeling down in the dumps and all ‘woe is me, nothing is going my way!’, I think that once we have a fuller appreciation of the enormity of Jesus’ sacrifice, we can be joyful despite trials with one eye on the glorious future ahead of us.
And now as we let that notion sink in, and maybe sink in for another week or two, I’ll leave you with 10 joyful albums that have inspired me of late, as we dwell upon the freedom and security we can now live in- now and into the future!
Crowder- American Prodigal
Group 1 Crew- Fearless
Newsboys- In The Hands Of God
Danny Gokey- Rise
MercyMe- All That Is Within Me
Rend Collective- As Family We Go
Sanctus Real- We Need Each Other
Are you joyful today, despite your circumstances? Why/why not?
Until next time guys!