Welcome to the first “Wednesday Is for Worship” here in 2013! The beginning of the year is always filled with much mystery and excitement as our minds try to forecast what the year may hold. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, certainly you should hope that the new year will bear growth in your walk with Jesus. In fact, you very well might have made a resolution aimed at that very thing. But, growth in the Lord comes through many different venues. Some are rather pleasant, but strangely the road that often yields the most growth is the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Suffering. Here, the root is bitter, but the fruit is sweet!
One hymn that captures this spiritual principle is “I Asked the Lord that I Might Grow.” It was written in 1779 by the great John Newton, who also penned “Amazing Grace.” In it, the subject asks the Lord to help him grow, and to his surprise, the Lord answers his prayer through ordaining trials and tribulations. In the end, the Lord explains that He answered the person’s prayer in this way to help him be freed from self and pride and to break his schemes of earthly joy so that he could find his all in the Lord.
People just don’t write songs like this today! That’s why we must never ignore the classics!!
I pray it’ll help you prepare to grow in 2013 and to be ready when it hurts.
I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith and love and ev’ry grace,
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek more earnestly His face.
‘Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer,
But it has been in such a way
As almost drove me to despair.
I hoped that in some favored hour
At once He’d answer my request
And, by His love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins and give me rest.
Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart
And let the angry pow’rs of hell
Assault my soul in ev’ry part.
Yea, more with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe,
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Humbled my heart and laid me low.
“Lord, why is this,” I trembling cried;
“Wilt Thou pursue Thy worm to death?”
“’Tis in this way,” the Lord replied,
“I answer prayer for grace and faith.”
“These inward trials I employ
From self and pride to set thee free
And break thy schemes of earthly joy
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.”