Challenge Central: a CBC devotional
by: Pastor Jeremy Heikkinen
What are you singing these days? Songs have the tendency to get stuck in our heads and we cannot help but sing alone or rehearse the lyrics to ourselves throughout the day. Over the last couple of months, Paul Nicholson and I have had the opportunity to discuss music and singing. Songs teach. What we sing has a profound ability to shape what we believe. Songs will often stay in our heads far better than the sermon outline on Sunday. This is why I am so thankful for good, theologically rich, gospel-centered, songs. One of those songs is “He Will Hold Me Fast”. We sang it on Sunday. It is a song that has been added to my playlist and one that I continually go back to in order to rehearse God’s great truth.
In Dane Ortlund’s book, Gentle and Lowly (I highly recommend that you read it), he addresses the theme of this song in chapter 21: “He Loved us Then; He’ll Love Us Now”. While digging deeper into Romans 5:6-11, he discusses how God did not love us after we met Him halfway, or cleaned up our lives, or because He knew we would always follow His commands. Oh no, He loved us when we were His enemies, while we were weak, while we were still sinners. That same love that He showed us in this state is the same love that continues even after we have accepted His gift of grace and yet still fall short. Dane, quoting John Flavel, puts it this way, “As God did not at first choose you because you were high, He will not now forsake you because you are low” (194). He would continue to unpack this truth by saying, “your waywardness does not threaten your place in the love of God any more than history itself can be undone” (194). He is describing the reconciliation we have received with God through Jesus.
If you think that reconciliation was only applicable at salvation, you are wrong. We are to rejoice all the more about it in our relationship with Jesus knowing that “He will hold me fast”.
The great truths that are found in Romans 5 and expounded upon in Gentle and Lowly, are then set to music in “He Will Hold Me Fast”. The song goes through a myriad of thoughts, emotions, or circumstances that have the potential of deceiving me about God’s promise in Romans 5, yet, “He will hold me fast”. It reinforces the gospel of Jesus and His ability in the face of my inability. What a great song! What a great book! What an AWESOME God!! I encourage you this week to listen to this song, learn the lyrics, play it on an instrument, sing it in the shower! Wherever you are, whatever you have done or are telling yourself this week, if you are in Christ, you can hold on to the truth that “He will hold me fast”.