Songs of Hope in the Midst of Injustice
Years ago Carrie and I walked into a old, family-owned BBQ restaurant in a small town in North Carolina. As we entered the door every person inside turned their heads ever so slightly toward us. That split-second encounter seemed to last for three minutes. It felt like an old western movie when the city slicker walks through the swinging saloon doors, the piano player stops playing, everybody stops talking, and then one person says, “You ain’t from around here, are ya?
Even though I live right near that restaurant, I still felt a little out of place.
Believers often feel this tension. We are from here (this present world), but our true identity is found beyond the limitations of humanity. We are not merely earthly beings; we are eternal beings, whose home is not where we came from, but where we have not yet been.
Whether or not you realize it, you are living simultaneously in two distinct realms – an earthly realm of natural matter and a spiritual realm from which everything was created and by which all things are sustained. You are a spiritual being living within the limitations and injustices of a physical world.
Daniel was likely a teenager when his people were defeated and taken captive by the Babylonians. Daniel was one of a multitude of people taken away from his home and brought to Babylon to be educated (indoctrinated) into a Godless culture. Although many of the Jews succumbed to the pressure and embraced Babylonian ways, Daniel was one of a remnant who refused to bow. Daniel realized that God was just as present with him in this foreign land as He was in Jerusalem.
Reflecting back on those days of captivity, the psalmist posed this question:
How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? Psalms 137:4 ESV
We live in a world troubled by pain, confused by injustice, riddled with disease, and crippled by fear and hatred. Colleges have shifted from education to indoctrination, and it has become politically incorrect to adhere to or even suggest a standard of truth. As believers we came from this world, but we belong to a different one. Still, there is peace to be found, and a song to be sung.
In the midst of pain believers sing songs of hope. In the midst of tragedy comes songs of peace. In the midst of injustice God gives us songs of trust. “He has put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to my God.” (Psalm 40:3).
Our songs are not merely a means of momentary escape from the physical realities we face, they are prophetic declarations that give us entrance into the spiritual realities that determine our world. Through the portal of praise we enter spiritual dimensions where batttles are waged and won in prayer, and where victory is secured and celebrated by His word.
Whether yours is a foreign land called cancer, or depression, or victimization, or depression, or fear…there is a song of deliverance to be sung. Declare these words and lift up your song!
You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah” Psalms 32:7 NKJV