Crossroads: Music and Control

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Psalm 98

Your Story

Talk about a time when music has helped you feel closer to God. What music do you love to listen to when you want to praise God?

My Story and the Bible Story

A dear friend once gave me a great piece of advice: when life feels out of control, listen to praise music. And as you praise God through song, you start to realize that God is in control and bigger than anything happening to you. The election is this week, and for the past several months, life has felt out of control. It’s hard to turn the TV on without there being news about rude comments being made by candidates, reasons we can’t trust either one, and the candidates themselves treating one another badly. It’s hard to log on to Facebook without seeing post after post about the election and why neither candidate can be trusted. And in the midst of all of this name calling, mudslinging, and other awfulness, the world is at war. People are fleeing their homes as bombs are falling in Syria. Hurricanes have left people without food, water, and shelter. Life feels out of control.

And yet, we remember that God has done marvelous things. God came down into our mess, when life was out of control, and saved us. This is why we sing praises to God even when life is out of control. God never leaves us and always loves us. We can trust God. We can trust that God is our helper, our friend, and our Savior. And we know that no matter what happens in our country or on this Earth, God’s love is bigger than any of it. So we Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—shout for joy before the Lord, the King. Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world and all who live in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; let them sing before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the people with equity. (Psalm 98)

What a beautiful picture of praise! Can you imagine the seas and rivers praising God? When the waves of the sea clap together, they are praising God. When the river hits the rocks, it too praises God. If creation can praise God in this way, how much more should we praise God? God has done marvelous things for us. God has created us, saved us, and loved us unconditionally. There’s never anything we could do to make God stop loving us. And when the world feels out of control, we can rest in God’s love.

Life is busy. And maybe your world feels a bit out of control as well. No matter what happens in this election, one thing will not change: God loves you. God wants to talk to you. And God loves to hear your praises. Take time to sing praises to God. And if life feels out of control, listen to praise music wherever you can. And as you sing, remember that God sees the bigger picture. And at the end of everything, it’s all going to be okay because God is in control!

Discussion

• Ask your family if life feels out of control for them. In what ways does it feel like this?
• Talk about how you can have God’s peace even when life feels out of control. (All you have to do is ask for it!)
• Ask your children (if they are at least elementary age) how you can help them feel like life isn’t so busy or overwhelming—maybe they need more time to do their homework or maybe they need an evening where everyone unplugs and spends time together.

Prayer

Ask God for help in praising God no matter what happens. Ask God for God’s peace.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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