“I got a call back!”
This statement can mean different things to different people depending on the context. To an actor or actress, this is a declaration of excitement that stirs up dreams, desires, aspirations and goals. To a woman who just had a mammogram, this is an expression of concern that stirs up fears, unknowns and anxiety.
It shapes the narrative of the story being told.
Psalm 98 helps me to see the matters of my heart, the matters of my now, the matters of my heavy, in the context of eternity.
These verses establish a narrative where the context of life is eternal, not temporal.
They establish a narrative where the bigness of my circumstances shrink when placed before the backdrop of a ginormous, loving, faithful God who is celebrated by oceans and rivers and mountains (vv7-8). And these call-to-worship verses lift the veil of my unknowns so I can see beyond my now to the God who was and is and is to come.
Sing a new song to the Lord,
for he has performed wonders;
his right hand and holy arm
have won him victory.
2 The Lord has made his victory known;
he has revealed his righteousness
in the sight of the nations.
3 He has remembered his love
and faithfulness to the house of Israel;
all the ends of the earth
have seen our God’s victory.
4 Let the whole earth shout to the Lord;
be jubilant, shout for joy, and sing.
5 Sing to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and melodious song.
6 With trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn
in the presence of the Lord, our King.
7 Let the sea and all that fills it,
the world and those who live in it, resound.
8 Let the rivers clap their hands;
let the mountains shout together for joy
9 before the Lord,
for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world righteously
and the peoples fairly.
(Psalm 98:1-9, CSB)
As I consider the context of Psalm 98, a few truths rise.
Because the Lord has done marvelous things in the past (v1), I can trust Him completely to do marvelous things again today and tomorrow. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
Because the Lord has made His salvation and righteousness known to all the nations in Christ (v2), I can be confident of my salvation and trust that when I confessed my sins, God forgave me and cleansed me from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). I can trust that when I confessed with my mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believed in my heart that God raised Him from the dead, I was saved. (Romans 10:9) “For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” (Romans 10:10)
It’s common for us to feel confused or unsure of salvation. To know why we exist or where we fit in with God. Does He really care?
We weigh our bad and good on scales of performance instead of grace.
We question God’s interest in us. And we think at times He seems distant, scary and harsh.
We anguish over the brokenness He allows. Get frustrated when He doesn’t do what we ask of Him.
The heaviness of it all can press us low.
Yet where heaviness presses, Hope lifts.
Because the Lord will judge the world, all people, in righteousness and equity (v9), I’m spurred on to give thanks and praise for the forgiveness of my sins and for the eternal hope I have in Jesus. And I’m inspired fresh to set the matters of my now before the righteous, everlasting God who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly beyond what I could ever ask for or imagine.
Psalm 98 calls us beyond questions to a place of calm. Beyond disinterest to a place of worship. Beyond I-can-take-it-or-leave-it wishy-washy singing to a place of sold out, fired up jubilance.
When I allow these truths to shape the narrative of my worship and acquiesce to the sovereignty of God, my heart shifts responsively to sing Him a new song (v1) and shout for joy to my worthy King (v4-6).
What context is shaping the narrative being told in your heart today?
Thank You for giving me the truth of Your Word to inform my soul of Your love and faithfulness. By grace You’ve invited me into a story of hope filled with power and promise. I praise You, God, for the marvelous things You’ve done and will continue to do today. Help me to live today with the eternal backdrop of Your sovereignty in mind.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE
Where does this message find you today? What’s shaping the narrative of your worship? Let’s share and pray it out on the wall of my blog today – or send me a direct message on Instagram and give me scoop.
So much love and blessing to you, friend.
PS. What if what you don’t know about yourself can actually hurt you? The Enneagram can help you understand core motivations and lead you toward healthy responses and relationships. Enneagram Coach Beth McCord joins me on the latest Graceologie Podcast to discuss how understanding the way you’re wired can help you grow in wisdom, love, faith and relationships.
PSS. There are times we just don’t know what to say to God. Times when our emotions are lit and we might not even want to talk to Him. Sara Hagerty joins me for a rich conversation about a simple practice of adoration that will help you experience God in the thick of life’s demands.
PSSS. Coronavirus still has us all quarantined. How can we continue to process our new reality and make the most of our time inside? Kathi Lipp joins me on the GRACEOLOGIE podcast for a conversation about ways to sift through, organize and strengthen our minds, hearts and homes in a season of quarantine, loss and confusion. Listen here.