10,000 Reasons and More

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According to Carl Trueman, what preachers do all the time is “teach theology in the face of death.” This weekend, the conference I was attending closed out with everyone singing 10,000 Reasons. I first sang this song in July, standing in church next to a friend whose husband, a pastor, died two years ago, today. Before he died, he wrote numerous emails, rich in theological depth, wrestling with sickness, but full of trust in God.

“I know God has a purpose in all He does. It seems that God is most often glorified not through the ease of our lives, but in the trials. Contrary to much popular religious teaching we need not be “healthy and successful” for God to give evidence of His faithfulness, in fact Christ exalted the Father through suffering for us; most Apostles were martyrs, and we are called to take up our cross and follow. Does this mean God doesn’t care about our physical well-being? It can’t. There is a close connection in the Word of God linking his death for our sins with our health.”

You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger

Your name is great, and Your heart is kind

For all Your goodness I will keep on singing

Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

“These past months have given many opportunities to meditate on texts

like these:

Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy

name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits–

who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems

your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who

satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed

like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:1-5 

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our

iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by

his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5 

Then we must also consider, what of the ministry of Jesus? He forgave

sin. He healed the sick. He raised the dead. Not all were forgiven,

not all were healed, but it happened.

All doubt about God’s concern for our physical well-being is

removed, however, with the Gospel. The Gospel is this: Christ died for

our sins on the cross and rose from the grave on the third day. In

Christ we gain forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Spiritual

healing, physical healing, emotional healing,– in Christ we are a

new creation. By faith in Christ this is all ours. He heals all His

children.

 I just can’t tell you when this healing will happen!

I have forgiveness in Christ now. I have been cleansed, but the

process of sanctification continues until one day I will stand in Him

complete. So, God may choose to bring temporary healing here, but the

certainty is one day healing will be complete when my body will be

glorified in the resurrection.

Christ is risen and these promises are ours! This promise is mine. 

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the

mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come

true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 1 Corinthians 15:54 

That day is coming.”

 

Bless the Lord, O my soul

            O my soul

Worship His holy name

Sing like never before

            O my soul

I’ll worship His holy name.

 

As the words of 10,000 Reasons rolled from slide to slide on the screen this summer, tears rolled into my eyes. I had watched these friends suffer. I had prayed as he grew weaker. I listened as he spoke of his Redeemer. As they blessed the Lord despite their impending earthly loss.

 

And on that day when my strength is failing

The end draws near and my time has come

Still my soul will sing Your praise unending

Ten thousand years and then forevermore

 

As his strength was failing, he wrote….

 

“If you and I pray for healing and it doesn’t come, will God have

failed us? Or will we have failed God? Is that why we hesitate to pray

boldly?

 It can never be said that God’s power was inadequate or that our

prayers were inadequate if we simply pray as Jesus taught us to pray.

Jesus bids us pray in His Name. That means we are praying in

dependence on His power and in submission to His will. To commit our

prayer to Jesus’ will is not a “cop out” it is total submission

in faith to His will. It is a part of that faith we proclaimed in

Christ at our conversion…

 I come as a sinner to Christ. I have nothing to offer for my

salvation, but I confess my need. I believe His promise that the blood

of Jesus Christ is sufficient to pay for all my sin. I believe in His

resurrection from the dead. In Him I am cleansed, totally, completely

and forever. And as sure as I will stand before Jesus with a cleansed

spirit and soul, I will stand before Jesus with a glorified body. In

Christ I am saved.”

 

We read as he wrote about mortality, pain, faith, and future hope.

I stopped singing this summer in that church service, sadness over death and joy in resurrection power jammed in my throat.

 

“My foremost prayer must be that Christ would be glorified in my body,

and in yours, whether by life or by death.

 I know that He is being honored in my body now in ways in which He was

not honored in the past… I have also learned how dependent I

am upon Him.

 Now, God may want to keep me in my present physical condition. He may

choose to heal me. He may will to bring me quickly home. Any option is

to His praise and glory.”

 

Two weeks after he wrote these words, he went to Heaven to sing praises unending.

 

Bless the Lord, O my soul

            O my soul

Worship His holy name

Sing like never before

            O my soul

I’ll worship His holy name.

 

Last night, once again, I stood among a crowd, singing these words. I had to stop singing again. And as I listened to hundreds sing, there was a glimpse, like seeing a sliver of the moon, of praises unending. We know that the resurrection power exists in Christ. Ten thousand reasons for our hearts to find. We understand that in Him comes the grace to suffer here, to praise always, and to know the power of the resurrection eternally. Preachers teach theology in the face of death.

“As saints of old still line the way, retelling triumphs of His grace, we hear their calls and hunger for the day, when with Christ we stand in glory”

 

10,000 Reasons – Matt Redman

O Church Arise – Keith and Kristyn Getty

Carl Trueman – http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2011/12/christmas-and-the-faith-and-co.php#sthash.A1LtgO5b.dpuf

Italicized text – Richard Glenny, 2012

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