Good morning Church! As always, I am so glad that you can join us virtually this week. I pray that this time that you spend watching our service, reading this blog, and listening to these songs would be a time of rest, reprieve, and revival as you enter into the presence of God, and I hope that you are able to feel and know that a community of believers is joining you in all of these things. Specifically, I hope that you are able to find reprieve from the stress that has been looming at the margins of our lives, and sometimes ventures into our safe places like home, friendships, and even our Church community. Today, John is going to be speaking about stress and unpacking some of the incredible things God has woven into our beings that help us to manage and mitigate stress. So, please join me in listening to, and perhaps singing along with, some of my favorite songs to listen to when I am feeling the stress and fear lingering.
Speak to the Silence – United Pursuit
Highs & Lows – Hillsong Young & Free
In Psalm 23:4-6, the psalmist writes:
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:4-6, ESV).
Sometimes stress and fear feel a lot like the valley of death – hopeless, unending, bleak, but we know that God is with us there, and provides for us there as well. We have been fearfully and wonderfully made, and God created us to withstand these things too. Though we may sometimes feel it, we are not fragile. We have been biologically equipped to recover and thrive, even in dark places.
Steal Back Your Joy – Chris Renzema
In Hebrews 12 we are told
“therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2, ESV).
Let us be encourage by the example that Christ Jesus has set for us. Though we are imperfect, we can take heart and find joy in his perfection.
Safe Retreat – Kings Kaleidoscope
Wonder – Hillsong United
Church, let us go forth this week and make every attempt to steal back our joy, take refuge in Christ who is our safe retreat, and let us acknowledge that we have been made by a perfect and brilliant creator who said “I will create my people to withstand their troubles too.” May you see the brilliance in yourself that God has put there, and may you enjoy the fullness of God’s creation in your own soul and mind.
Thank you for joining us today! If you haven’t listened to this week’s sermon yet, it is posted on both our YouTube channel and our website, or you can find the link on our Facebook and Instagram pages. If you prefer to listen to worship music in a playlist format, we’ve got you covered there too! All of these songs are also available on our Spotify playlist so that you can worship as you go about your week. Our playlist is updated every week so that the songs for the most recent message will be right at the top of the queue. Thanks, and God bless!