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Spiritual Formation

From the Pastor’s Pen: “Songs of Deliverance”

In Psalm 32 we have words of blessing for those whose sins have been confessed and forgiven and the Lord’s protection in times of trouble for those who trust in Him. While reading the Psalm recently, my attention was drawn to a phrase in v. 7 – “You are my hiding place… and surround me with songs of deliverance.” The same assurance is repeated in v. 10 – “…the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.”

I began to reflect on the fact that the child of God, the one who trusts in Him, is indeed surrounded by “songs of deliverance,” testimonies of the Lord’s care, provision and intervention into our lives. These songs aren’t distant or few in numbers, but rather they surround us. Below I’ve noted a few places this “surround sound” finds its origin.

    • First, I believe as each of us truly pauses to reflect, remember and recall the many ways the Lord has sovereignly cared for us and ordered our steps, especially in the tough and uncertain times, we will find much material and inspiration for our own “songs of deliverance” to be sung and embraced. I think of David’s words in Psalm 40 as he reflected on the many, many ways God had cared for him –
      pp_praise“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him” (vv. 1-3).

 

    • Recently I was struck by the rich privilege we have as members of the family of God to hear the testimonies of others in the body of Christ, to listen to their “songs of deliverance” and be encouraged in our own journey of faith. As I read your prayer letters, field reports and/or speak with you in person, I find that I’m surrounded by your “songs of deliverance,” your testimonies of God’s care, leadership and provisions. Keep singing your song and listening to the songs of others. In this we’re built up together in our faith walk with the Lord Jesus.

 

In this season as we celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus I find, in a rather unique way, we’re surrounded by “songs of deliverance.” Whether in shopping malls or houses of worship, whether on secular or Christian radio stations, the songs of Christ’s birth are being played. From the simple, almost child-like words of “Away in a Manger” to the more majestic and spirited, “Joy to the World”, truly these are songs of the greatest deliverance of all. I believe as we pause afresh and truly listen to these songs of His incarnation to be our Savior, we’ll find ourselves built up in our faith and worshipping the newborn King!

Ralph Anderson


More about Ralph
ralph_joyceOne Challenge was blessed to have mission pastor Ralph Anderson, and his wife Joyce, at OC International for over 20 years. They tended to our souls through the Word, prayer, counsel, and encouragement. In 2020, Ralph handed over this role to Gill, another great man of the Lord, who is walking alongside OC workers in their ministry journey together.

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