He is Risen! Recently I was struck by the Biblical truth behind the song "The Stand," written by Joel Houston of Hillsong and recorded by Michael W. Smith on his album Stand
. This truth is based on Paul's very encouraging words to the Romans in Chapter 5, verses 1-3
which are wonderful words to celebrate and "rejoice in the hope of the glory of God" as we praise our Lord and Savior Jesus for coming to die for our sins as our perfect, blameless substitute for our sinful natures on whose grace we "stand with arms high and hearts abandoned in awe of the one who gave it all".
Michael W. Smith says "Stand is a call to stand up for what you believe in." It's a call to stand in awe of the One who gave all and to stand outside of the walls of the church rubbing shoulders with the lost. Together, we stand as followers of Jesus sharing a powerful opportunity: To live as a child of God. We must live as though we believe we are loved," he says. "It's time we take a stand believing we are loved," Smith concludes. "And then, let's go. Let's go change the world."
This truth has really been a source of peace and comfort for me as when I've felt societal and financial pressures. I know I can always rely on God's grace and lay my stress at His feet and actually "rejoice in my suffering" as Paul urges, because it is that same earthly suffering that reminds me to surrender my life and dedicate it to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and persevere by His justification of me as His follower. As I have reflected on this amazing passage of scripture, some other songs I've been enjoying that speak this same truth are "Stand On Grace" by Jimmy Needham, "I Stand For You" by Tree63 and "If I Stand" by Rich Mullins. Take a few minutes and reflect on these words of "peace and joy":
Romans 5:1-3 (New International Version)
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance.
Sometimes that peace and joy is hard to express in our daily walk with Jesus and I think the simplicity of Joel Houston's lyrics
really captures the sentiment on my heart and I love the reminder to "stand" here:
The Stand by Michael W. Smith
written by Joel Houston (Hillsong)
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the one who gave it all
My soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours
In closing, this passage is so powerful to me that I suggest that we also reflect on the lyrics to "Stand On Grace"
by Jimmy Needham from his album Speak
as he also captures the essence of what it means to be a truly devoted follower of Jesus, in whom "alone my atonement is known". Please join me in "standing on grace" as sung reflectively by Jimmy Needham
Stand On Grace by Jimmy Needham
In Jesus alone
My atonement is known
I stand on grace
In Jesus the King
My salvation He brings
I stand on grace
And Jesus, Your grace
Is all that I need
It's all that I need
And grace upon grace
Is all that I breathe
It's all that I breathe