At the Bible study when we looked at James 1:12-18, we discussed the revelation of who God is as the basis of our faith. James tells us that every good and perfect gift comes from God. He reminds us that God does not change like the shifting shadows. He tells us that we have new birth and new life through the word of truth. This revelation of who God is sustains us through every trial and temptation, for it is easy when we are going through difficult times to doubt God’s goodness. Ps 84:11 reminds us that ‘no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.’ Genesis 1 reminds us that God created good things (the phrase ‘God saw that it was good’ recurs throughout this chapter.) These are the fundamental facts of faith which we have to hold on to when we are facing trials or temptations, rather than blaming God for the difficulties our sinful nature leads us into.

It’s been said that what we sing shapes our theology or understanding of God more than the sermons we listen to. Certainly I believe that it’s vitally important that the songs we sing in church reflect who God is far more than our own feelings or ideas, which are obviously open to change and error. We endeavour to sing songs that are Biblically based and reflect the revelation of God given in the Bible, for we cannot know who God is or what He is like apart from the revelation He has given us.

Matt Redman seems to me to have grasped this idea well. So many of his songs contain the line ‘You are who You say You are’ (see ‘Holy’, ‘We Shall Not Be Shaken’, ‘The Glory of Our King’, ‘We Could Change the World’): after all, ‘Let God be true, and every human being a liar’, as Paul says in Romans 3:4. They focus on the nature of God as good, holy, faithful and true. We have to hold on to who God is at all times, but particularly during times of trial and temptation. As Kutless say in their song ‘Even If’,

‘Sometimes all we have to hold on to
Is what we know is true of who You are…
You are God, You are good,
Forever faithful One.’

There are many voices calling out to us every single day and not all these voices are true. As Casting Crowns sing, ‘Out of all the voices calling out to me/ I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth’ (‘Voice of Truth’, Casting Crowns) Today’s challenge is to hold on to the character of God, no matter what: and if necessary, do that through song!

You can listen to the songs mentioned above here:
‘Voice of Truth’, Casting Crowns
‘We Could Change the World’, Matt Redman
‘Holy’, Matt Redman
‘The Glory of Our King’, Matt Redman
‘We Shall Not Be Shaken’, Matt Redman
’Even If’, Kutless