One of the most outstanding inspirational songs ever written was by Andre Crouch. When Andre wrote “Through It All” it stirred the hearts of most people listening to the lyrics.
I’ve had many tears and sorrows;
I’ve had questions for tomorrow;
There’ve been times I didn’t know right from wrong.
But in ev’ry situation
God gave blessed consolation
That my trials come to only make me strong.
Through it all, through it all,
(Oh,) I’ve learned to trust in Jesus;
I’ve learned to trust in God.
Through it all, through it all,
I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.
Life has taught me that God can’t use us greatly until we’ve experienced some suffering. Suffering has a way of refining our faith. And despite our circumstances, God also desires us to be filled with joy.
One of our son’s good friends is Gordon Mote who just released his new album (Hymns and Songs of Inspiration). Gordon is one of my favorite contemporary Christian artists. For Gordon music became a way to transcend the challenges associated with his disability. Music was also an opportunity for Gordon to deepen his relationship with God.
The music and warmth of this man are so special. Gordon is one of the most remarkable people I’ve ever met. Despite his blindness, he is one of the most sought-after musicians in Nashville. If you look at the credits of a Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, or Martina McBride album anxious to find the name of the great piano player who adds so much musical flavor to those top-selling records, the name Gordon Mote, an accomplished musician, master prankster, and devoted Christian will appear on the album jacket.
If there was an award on Nashville’s famed Music Row for Mr. Congeniality, Gordon would be the recipient. The likes of Rascal Flatts, Randy Travis, The Martins, Mark Lowry, Trace Adkins, The Gaither Vocal Band, and Kenny Chesney have experienced the charm, wit, and talents of this charismatic artist. I encourage you to check out his website and music at www.gordonmote.com.
One of the attributes that exudes from every pore of Gordon’s body is joy. He has a contagious positive spirit that delights audiences and other musicians. What is joy? Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. Gordon has learned that the best way to show his gratitude to God and to people is to accept everything with joy. A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love. Joy-filled people, like Gordon, would underscore their belief that one should never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of the risen Christ.
Joy appears 218 times in The New International Version. It is the cornerstone for our faith. As we read various verses, we come away with a sense that joy really is a deep inner peace that projects a sense of greater well-being and confidence.
As Jesus broke bread with His disciples during the celebration of His last Feast of the Passover, He impressed upon them that “His hour had come.” He described His fate and continued to teach them important lessons about leadership, serving, sacrifice, and obedience. After imploring them to abide in His love, we hear His encouragement. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” (John 15:11) There is that word again.
As the Book of James reminds us, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials.” (James 1:2) Gordon has encountered many trials in his life, but decided to become a joy-filled person and utilize his amazing talents for God’s glory. Andre Crouch and Gordon Mote got it right. “Through it all, through it all, (Oh,) I’ve learned to trust in Jesus; I’ve learned to trust in God. Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.”
What is the source of your joy?
Can you imagine the next time you face a trial considering it joy? Or, the next time you face a trial, consider counting it joy.
In what ways do you demonstrate a trusting spirit when you think about tackling a major challenge (prayers, meditation, leaning into Christian friends, reading Scripture)?