Make way through the waters / Walk me through the fire / Do what You are famous for / What You are famous for / Shut the mouths of lions / Bring dry bones to life and / Do what You are famous for / What You are famous for
"Famous For (I Believe)" by Tauren Wells and Jenn Johnson of Bethel Music is a powerful song that inspires thanksgiving and faith in us as we remember what God has done in the past and hope for what He can do in the present. Let's look at how this song mirrors a practice of the people of Israel in the Old Testament and what that means for your life and mine.
#1 Remember what God has done in the past.
There is no fear 'cause I believe / There is no doubt 'cause I have seen / Your faithfulness, my fortress / Over and over
I've been trying to spend more time in the Old Testament so far this year. It's the beginning of the story of God working in the world to reconcile humanity to Himself. It's the story of God setting apart a people for Himself from which He could bring Jesus the Savior into the world. It's also the story of God's power and faithfulness amidst a people who walked with Him faithfully sometimes and at other times...not so much.
Something I love about the people of Israel in the Bible is how much value they placed on remembering God's character and work in their lives individually and as a people. I love the intentional practices they exercised to help them do this. They weren't perfect at this (and let's be honest, neither are you and me), but I believe we can learn from them.
They would pass along the stories of God's faithfulness to future generations. They would build physical altars and memorials to commemorate significant encounters they had with God. These memories and testimonies of God's power even made it into their songs and prayers, as we see in the book of Psalms.
Psalm 105 in particular records a history of God's work in the nation of Israel in the form of a song. Verse 4 captures the heart of this psalm. "Remember the wonders He has performed, his miracles, and the rulings He has given." As the Israelites praised God for His faithfulness to them, they were reminding themselves of what He was famous for in their lives. They were reminding themselves of who He is and how He had worked in their lives before, which would lead to faith that He would be true to His character and work powerfully in their lives yet again. The same is true for us.
#2 Have faith for what God can do in the present.
God of exceedingly, God of abundantly / More than we ask or think, Lord / You will never fail, Your name is powerful, Your word's unstoppable / All things are possible in You
I wonder if you're like me. It seems that whenever I go through hard things the first thing I do is start worrying about how it's all going to work out, as if I've never experienced God carrying me through a tough situation before. As if I've never experienced Him breaking in to help, to heal and to save before. How easily we forget.
The psalmist David was in a tough season of his own when he penned Psalm 42. After pouring out his heart to God about his troubles and his pain, he prays this: "Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again--my Savior and my God!" I think David was onto something. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves who God is and what He has done in the past so we can encourage ourselves to hope in Him again for how He wants to work in our present situations.
What aspect of God's character do you need to remember for what you're facing right now? What promise of His Word? What testimony of how He has come through for you in the past?
First things first, God welcomes our honesty with Him. Be real with God in prayer about what you're going through and how you feel about it. Give your burdens and cares to God because He cares about you (1 Peter 5:7).
As you do that, take time to remember and thank God for what He's done for you in the past. Thank God for who He promises to be to us and the ways He gets involved in our lives that you see declared in Scripture. And from that place of intimate honesty and ignited faith, ask God to help you in whatever you're going through right now. You can apply these same principles when you're asking God to help someone else or a need you see in the world. It doesn't only have to be about personal needs and personal prayers. (1 Timothy 2:1)
It's a game-changer in our walk with God to have a practice of remembering and thanking Him for what He's done in our lives. It's not always easy to do, especially when we're feeling the weight of our circumstances pressing in on us. But it fills our hearts with faith and courage that we can trust in our God now just like we did then and that He will come through in the way and timing that He knows is best now, just like He did then. And if you need a little help to start praying that God would do what He is famous for in the situation you're walking through right now, Tauren and Jenn's song is a great place to start.
Find "Famous For" on Tauren Wells' latest album, Citizen of Heaven. Buy the album on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify. Read the full lyrics of "Famous For" here.
NRT contributor Jasmin Patterson is a lifelong fan of Christian music who is passionate about helping others connect with Christ. She lives in Kansas City where she serves in college ministry and runs a blog to help seekers and believers discover and live biblical Christianity.
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