DiM | “I Have This Hope” by Tenth Avenue North

Presentation1CCM Edition.

February 7, 2017. Today we’ll be taking a look at “I have this hope” by Tenth Avenue North which currently sits at #18 on 20TheCountdownMagazine.

This song asks some real questions. Questions every Christian has regardless of their willingness to actually voice them. What the song is lacking is a clear answer to the question. The singer seems to be answering the question for himself, but he isn’t really sharing that answer with the listener. The song leaves a lot of room for bad theology to find a home in these lyrics, but with a clear reference to scripture, I think this song can be given a good construction. This one falls in the middle-ground, where the listener needs to exercise discernment and apply sound theology to the song.

Official Lyric Video

Lyrics (via Band Website)

As I walk this great unknown
Questions come and questions go
Was there purpose for the pain
Did I cry these tears in vain
I don’t wanna live in fear
I wanna trust that You are near
Trust Your grace can be seen
In both triumph and tragedy

chorus
I have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You’re with me and You won’t let go

But sometimes my faith feels thin
Like the night will never end
Will You catch every tear
Or will You just leave me here

So whatever happens, I will not be afraid
‘Cause You are closer than this breath that I take
You calm the storm when I hear You call my name
I still believe that one day I’ll see Your face

In the flood or the fire
You are with me and You won’t let go
In the flood or the fire
You are with me and You won’t let go

Discussion

That first verse is an honest question we’ve all asked. It’s not a good place to stay for very long, but these are questions we should take back to God’s Word regularly. I take issue with what reads as an inward focus, looking for assurance of God’s Promises within ourselves, in our emotions. In that second verse, it pops up with the “sometimes my faith feels thin”. Well, that’s because you’ve confused “faith” and “emotion”. We all do it. Every one of us is bent inwardly, staring at our own navels, wishing we felt better about ourselves and about the world around us. Piously we phrase it as “wanting to love God more”, but continuing to look inwardly for hope is a futile exercise. Our Hope is in Christ. When our flesh is weak, our zeal drained, our emotions taxed, and our assurance shaken… the very last place we should be looking is “within ourselves”. We should be looking to the external Word of God.

So, where do we look for comfort in the hurting times? Well, let’s see what the Apostles had to say in such times.

1 Peter 1:3-12 (ESV) | Born Again to a Living Hope

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

This is the Hope that is being presented as the answer to the questions in that first verse of the song. Let’s look also at what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans.

Romans 5:1-11 (ESV) | Peace with God Through Faith

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

That’s such wonderful language. Through our LORD Jesus Christ, we have no received reconciliation with God. He is not far away from us, He is near us and with us, for we have been baptized into Christ.

Conclusion

In Christ, we have the answer to all of life’s struggles, we have Law and Gospel. We need to hear it often, for we are in need of repentance and the forgiveness of sins often. CCM should be sharing the clear, external Word of God. We should be honestly asking the same sorts of questions the world asks… but unlike them, we have God’s clear Word as the remedy, we have the answers.

Hebrews 13:20-21 (ESV) | Benediction

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

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