What passage of Scripture never fails to delight you?
The verse that never fails me is the 24th verse of Jude: “Now unto him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 1:24 KJV). It’s a great reminder that at the end of it all, Jesus will be the one who has kept me—and Jesus is the one who is keeping me. One day, even with all of my craziness, I’ll still be presented faultless and blameless before God with joy. Knowing He will keep His promise to finish what He started in me gives me joy in the present day. When I was a new Christian, I felt so aware of my immaturity, so aware of my faults, that it didn’t seem God would be able preserve me. But Jude 24 taught me God is holy and righteous. Everything He says is true, and because that’s the case, then it’s to be believed. This has carried me as a believer for 10 years now.
—Jackie Hill Perry, poet, hip-hop artist, and author of Gay Girl, Good God: The Story of Who I Was and Who God Has Always Been
I’ve found myself drawn to Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel 2 time and again. When we meet Hannah in chapter 1, she is this obscure Israelite woman drowning in grief from a seemingly hopeless situation. But God orchestrates great reversals in her life, and by the time we get to chapter 2, she is singing a beautiful prayer extoling the character of God and prophetically telling of the great reversal Jesus brings for all those who trust in Him. Every time I read it, I see the depths of God’s love, the fullness of His power, and the certainty of His promise. I leave 1 Samuel 2:1-10, singing alongside Hannah: “There is no one holy like the Lord, indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.”
—Kelsey Hency, Editor-in-Chief of Fathom Magazine
When I first started leading worship, I felt inhibited when it came to expressing myself. It wasn’t until I began to understand God through the psalms that my reservations diminished. For example, Psalm 47 is addressed to the chief musician, who is commissioned to announce through sacred songs and prayers that God is here. This particular psalm tells us to clap our hands and shout with a voice of joy. God inhabits the praises of His people, so why would we ever withhold them? Jesus entered earth’s domain amidst heavenly music, and He will return at the great trumpet blast. He is the reason for our celebration. Ours is the shout of triumph, of victory, of splendor and majesty. Ours is a shout like no other! Our praise and obedience are an incredible combination, and I say, “Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered” (Psalm 68:1). Amazing days, amazing grace.
—Darlene Zschech, worship leader, musical composer, and author. Her latest book is The Golden Thread: Experiencing God’s Presence in Every Season of Life
It is impossible to be human and not know suffering. Due to the curse, all people on the earth know suffering, including Christians. In His rich kindness, however, God doesn’t leave Christians without hope in the midst of their sorrow. Jeremiah 32:37-41 speaks of His everlasting covenant and the work He has committed to accomplish through it. He promises to gather together for Himself a kingdom that consists of people from every nation and tribe on earth (Revelation 7:9), who will dwell in safety under His rule. Despite all we go through, we can always rest on the fact that God is working in our lives and He has fully committed to see us come safely home.
—Kyle J. Howard, Christian Counselor and host of the Coram Deo family of podcasts
Illustration by Guillermo Vigil