Tag Archive for Only You

Hope That Does Not Disappoint

We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God…And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts. (Romans 5:2, 5, NIV)

I have tasted it – that pain, that sense of loss when hopes fail. I have known disappointment.

But as false foundations give way, we are forced to dig deeper, to reassess, to refocus and refine our hope by remembering what is Rock and what is not, what will hold firm and what time will wash away.

God’s people in Old Testament times learned about such disappointment. They trusted many things: their promised homeland; their financial and military resources; the Temple, their symbol of status in God’s sight. They hoped in His blessings rather than in Him. But as all these were burned away in the fires of judgment, the hopes of the faithful were purified and refocused. Their eyes were lifted higher and higher until finally fixed on One Man–the Chosen One, the Servant of God, the Messiah–who would fulfill all God’s plans for His people and the hopes of all the ages.

I have shared their disappointment, and their sin. In times of prosperity I have gradually grown to look in other directions for security, meaning, and hope. Resting in success, a comfortable lifestyle, and familiar relationships, I have clung to God’s blessings rather than to Him. Taking gifts He intended as means to glorify Him, I have made them ends, glorifying myself. They have become convenient substitutes for depending on Him day by day.

But when one such substitute crumbles, or even wavers, I sense my vulnerability. I feel my foolishness and turn again to my Father–He who so patiently and fervently pursues my deepest affections and my trust.

Father, forgive me. Purify and refocus my hopes–not just the big ones, but the small ones that drive my daily energies. Remove the distractions and substitutes from my eyes, from my heart, until my hopes are fixed on You–You, my Everlasting God, my Patient Forgiver, my Creator, my Companion, my Sovereign Lord.

Those who hope in me will not be disappointed. (Isaiah 49:23, NIV)

Father, my Father,
save me from lukewarm self-satisfaction.
All we desire –
true riches,
true glory,
true health –
comes from You alone.
Keep me constantly coming to You.

Hymn: Only You
Printed Music & Lyrics

from Prepare Yourself for Worship

In Spirit and Truth

The woman said to Him…“Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” 

Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father…An hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:20-24, NASB)

Father, You are Spirit.
The worship that pleases You is
my spirit to Yours.
Worshiping You does not depend on
ceremony or style, on
rituals or prescribed motions.
You want worship that is honest, sincere, and unhypocritical,
with no gap between my words and my actions.

You seek worship that rises from my heart and my life,
not just from my lips.
That is the worship I want to bring You, my Father.
I want my Sunday worship to simply rehearse the way I live
all week long.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Holy Father, Only You
Printed Music & Lyrics

Our Deeper Need

Luke 17:11-19

They were desperate.
Ten were gripped by the physical and social suffering of leprosy
In hope they came and cried out,
“Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”

They saw no immediate healing,
but He told them to go and show themselves to the priest.
That was what a leper would have to do if he or she claimed to be cleansed.
As they obeyed, they were healed.

Nine apparently had what they wanted from God.
He had been a way to make their life their own again.
They had their healing, so they were gone.

One of them thought about God
and about the Man who had brought Him near.
He thought about His great goodness,
about the mercy asked and received.
Somehow he had just met the Living God.
His marvelous compassion was now real and personal.
How could he just walk away?
He had to run and bow to Him.
He had to cry out and thank Him.
He had to worship Him with all his heart and soul.
For him, God’s gift was not the end.
It was a beginning.
He had to respond to Him.
He had to come.

Father, when I begin to realize You are,
Your lavish gifts are not enough.
I want to know You and
please You and worship You.
I want to love You and
walk with You and
trust You every moment.
I want to live in You and
for You and
to You alone.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Only You
Printed Music & Lyrics

Our Father’s Discipline

Do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves. (Hebrews 12:5-6, NIV)

Remember what kind of creatures we were when we began our spiritual lives: selfish, impatient, fearful, unreliable, proud, and prone to choose our own way.

Is it surprising, then, that our loving and all-wise Father would humble us by struggles, teach us by temptations, prod us through pain, and continually draw us to himself through various needs?

God knows what we need, and all that He does is for our good. If we realized how much He loves us, we would gratefully receive from Him both the bitter and the sweet. He turns the hardest and most disagreeable trials to blessings. Trust Him and humbly submit to Him no matter what comes.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Holy Father, Only You
Printed Music & Lyrics