I’ve had a lifelong love affair with the Church of Jesus Christ. Most people who know me know that—I talk about it often enough.
But then everything changed.
I almost lost my faith in the Church recently. I was disappointed with His people, disillusioned even. I felt betrayed by the depravity of mankind.
We’ve all been there, haven’t we? The people who you think—unrealistically—will never let you down end up letting you down the hardest.
So here’s what I did:
I sang the Doxology with a small group of friends. The words of life set in rich, deep harmonies.
It was ancient truth, ever new.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow/Praise Him all creatures here below/Praise Him above ye heavenly host/Praise Father Son and Holy Ghost
I sang Hillsong’s “Glory” with my local church. Words I’d never before heard. Words my spirit desperately needed to hear and to proclaim.
Glory to the risen king, glory to the Son, glorious Son/Lift up your heads, open the doors/Let the king of glory come in/And forever be our God
Then I remembered the words of Psalm 29, words that my husband had read aloud earlier that day.
The voice of the Lord twists mighty oaks and strips the forests bare. In His Temple everyone shouts “Glory!”
It all came rushing back to me. All along, it’s been Christ. Christ is the reason I believed in His Church in the first place.
Because of Him and not because of His people.
We are His because of Him and because of Him, He is our God. Never because of us. For as we used to sing in youth group,
My only hope is You, Jesus/My only hope is You/From early in the morning till late at night/My only hope is You
Human beings were never worthy of my hope. My only hope is in God, and when we’re in God’s Temple, we all cry Glory! Even the believers who disillusion me.
And then I remembered more. Standing there with my hands lifted as high to the sky as I could reach, I remembered standing in that same position last year, shouting out Hillsong’s “The Creed” with a shattered heart.
I realized that my strongest experiences of worship don’t usually happen when life is going well. It’s when life is going poorly and I’m in the middle of a storm and I still stand and sing glory that I most intensely experience God’s nearness and greatness.
And this praise, this powerful act of defiance against evil, discouragement and hatred, it’s something no one and nothing can take away from us. It’s our right and our privilege as God’s children, and it can’t be stolen from us.
God alone is worthy of our hope and praise. Not fellow Christians.
This post originally appeared on Elizabeth’s website. Used with permission.