Two Songs for Suffering Saints

Our church is in the middle of a series on 1 Peter and we’ve been talking a lot about suffering. Peter starts off by telling us that we will be grieved by various kind of trials, “so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:7). For the Christian, trials are never purposeless, random, or wasted. God is using them to work out his perfect plans and to conform us to the image of his Son.

How do we know this? Because he has promised in his Word that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). He is sovereign over every disappointment, defeat, disease, and disaster.

When we gather as the church, it’s always an opportunity to remind one another of the truths upon which our lives are built. So we’ve been singing songs that highlight God’s sovereignty and care during our suffering, whether that stems from being persecuted for our faith or simply living in a fallen world.

This past Sunday, we introduced Desert Song, written by Brooke Fraser. It’s been around a while, but we thought this series would be an ideal time to introduce it. Here are the lyrics:

This is my prayer in the desert
And all that’s within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides

And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved of more worth than gold
So refine me, Lord, through the flames

I will bring praise, I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice, I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

And this is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on it’s way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I’ll stand

All of my life, in every season
You are still God, I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I’m filled to be emptied again
The seed I’ve recieved I will sow
By Brooke Fraser, Copyright 2008 Hillsong Publishing (Admin. in U.S. & Canada by Integrity’s Hosanna! Music)

Another song we sang on Sunday was from our album, Come Weary Saints. It’s called As Long As You Are Glorified and was written by my good friend Mark Altrogge. It’s a humble prayer that acknowledges God’s unchanging character in the midst of changing circumstances. You can listen to the song or right-click to download here. Download the guitar chart here.

Shall I take from Your hand Your blessings
Yet not welcome any pain
Shall I thank You for days of sunshine
Yet grumble in days of rain
Shall I love You in times of plenty
Then leave You in days of drought
Shall I trust when I reap a harvest
But when winter winds blow, then doubt

Oh let Your will be done in me
In Your love I will abide
Oh I long for nothing else as long
As You are glorified

Are You good only when I prosper
And true only when I’m filled
Are You King only when I’m carefree
And God only when I’m well
You are good when I’m poor and needy
You are true when I’m parched and dry
You still reign in the deepest valley
You’re still God in the darkest night

So quiet my restless heart
Quiet my restless heart
Quiet my restless heart in You
Words and Music by Mark Altrogge. © 2009 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music/Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI). Admin. by Integrity’s Hosanna! Music.

I posted more thoughts on ways God can use congregational worship to strengthen people’s faith during seasons of suffering in this post and this series.

9 Responses to Two Songs for Suffering Saints

  1. Sam Hargreaves July 20, 2010 at 3:54 PM #

    There’s one of my songs on the resoundworship.org site which also fits this theme – it was written for lent but can apply when you’re thinking about suffering. It’s also free download.
    http://www.resoundworship.org/song/you_lead_us_through_the_wilderness

  2. chris Ashton July 21, 2010 at 4:29 AM #

    The problem I have always had with Brooke Fraser’s song are the final words:

    I know I’m filled to be emptied again
    The seed I’ve recieved I will sow

    I’m really not sure what she is getting at, although being somewhat familiar with the teaching of Hillsong, I could perhaps hazard a guess which would probably not be complimentary to Brooke. Can I ask what you think these words mean, and how you think they’re helpful for suffering saints?

    Thanks Bob.

    • Bob Kauflin July 21, 2010 at 6:54 AM #

      Chris, thanks for asking. I’m not generally a Hillsong fan, but think Brooke has written some excellent songs. Seems to me the last two lines are a paraphrase of 2Cor 1:3-4: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” As God strengthens me in my trial, he does it so that I might be used to strengthen others. My suffering is never just about me alone. God intends to use it to serve those around me as well. Is that helpful?

  3. Emily July 21, 2010 at 11:43 AM #

    Hi Bob,
    thanks for this post. I needed this today. I woke up discouraged and hurting and while at work this morning was listening to the Come Weary Saints CD… it was SO encouraging to my weary soul. And then to come here and see this post was yet another encouragement and reminder of God’s care for me.

    Thanks for all you do. I pray for you often.
    Emily

    • Bob Kauflin July 21, 2010 at 12:28 PM #

      Thanks for your encouragement, and especially you prayers, Emily!

  4. Jung July 24, 2010 at 11:42 PM #

    Hi Bob. I really like this song (and many others by them), but I’m a bit iffy on Hillsong.

    I know that in the past, they had a lot of prosperity teaching (Brian Houston’s DVD and conferences on MONEY). I’m not sure how they are now with that, but I also hear about scandals happening within their church as well.

    In an article by two curious people who attended a Hillsong conference, it seemed that they had a very distorted gospel: We are not in total opposition and rebellion against God, but rather, we fail to live up to our maximum potential. Calvary wasn’t so much to atone for sins, but more of an entry point for God to be able to bless us and help us reach our maximum conference.

    Personally, I feel that it might not be the wisest thing to use their songs because of the association with their teachings and practices. Of course, I know that EVERY worship leader and song writer is sinful, but their beliefs about the gospel seem so different. This is just my speculation so far though. Do you have any thoughts on them, and using their songs?

  5. Kevin Hill August 1, 2010 at 4:18 PM #

    Hi Jung. I think that you might have been misled by that article. If you read some of the songs that have come out of Hillsong and listen to some of Brian’s sermons you’ll find that their gospel is sound. The guys at Hillsong have incredible hearts and that is cleary evident in their music. There songs are also theologically sound!

  6. Peter August 3, 2010 at 6:52 PM #

    Hi Jung, do you have a link to that article you read? I may have been at that same conference if it was Encounter 2009 in Los Angeles. I came away with many of the same sentiments based on two of the four sermons preached there.

  7. Jung September 14, 2010 at 2:10 PM #

    http://www.matthiasmedia.com.au/briefing/library/3883/

    Sorry for the late reply. I didn’t think anybody would read it and forgot about it. I hope you will see this, Peter!

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