Blessed Be the Name of the Lord
“Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s all as it should be
Blessed be Your name.
Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name.”
If these words sound familiar it is because they are from the second verse of one of my favorite church songs “Blessed Be Your Name”. This song has a really powerful meaning that has very practical applications to our lives at all times, and even more so in our current situation.
College can be a challenging time. At times for some, college can be a dark time in life, a time with pain. A time of uneasiness not knowing what comes next. College involves truly being on your own for the first time, trying to decide what to major in and consequently spend the rest of your life doing, it is a time of adjusting to an increased workload, a time of trying to make friends in a new place, and when you add the changes and challenges of covid-19 on top of all of that it can be really tough. So that is why I want to focus on the meaning behind the song “Blessed Be Your Name”.
Matt Redman wrote this song in 2001, in response to the attack on 9/11. He is quoted saying “It struck me how little a vocabulary we have in church worship music to respond appropriately in dark times of life. We all face seasons of pain and unease. And in those times, we need to find our voice before God.”
To find inspiration he opened the Bible and went to the Old Testament story of Job. If you know much about the story of Job you know that in the first 19 verses, we find out that Job was a good man, a God-fearing man, and Job was very blessed. Job was blessed with seven sons, three daughters, and an incredible number of animals. However, in the course of one dreadful day, Job received four messages, each bearing separate news that his livestock, servants, and ten children had all died due to invaders or natural catastrophes.
In a situation where it feels like he lost everything, I cannot even imagine the kind of emotions Job was dealing with. So, it is incredible to me what Job’s response was to all of this and we find that in Job 1:20-22.
“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.”
Incredible. Truly incredible. In the matter of one day Job lost practically everything and his response was to say “blessed be the name of the Lord.” In other words, Job praised God even after he lost everything.
So, what does this all mean to us?
Job’s statement reminds us that we should be happy with what God has given us. And on the flip side, we should remain content if He decides to take it away.
The story of Job should remind us to trust God no matter our circumstances. If life has you down, if you feel depressed or anxious about college or covid or any other troubles in your life, remember to trust in God. God does not promise us an easy life filled with no hard times. What God does promises us is much greater than that. God promises us hope. God promises us grace and the forgiveness of sins if only we will follow Him. I think Job understood the promise of hope that God offers. I think that’s why Job was able to praise God even when it had to feel like he had lost everything. Job knew he had not lost the most important thing and that was his relationship with God. Throughout the rest of Job’s story instead of finding reasons to blame God, he found reasons to praise God. He continued to trust God.
Trust is a beautiful act of worship. It says to God, I believe in You. I believe in Your unfailing goodness regardless of what season of life I find myself in. And this takes us back to the second verse of the song “Blessed Be Your Name” that I mentioned at the beginning. Regardless of if all things are going well and “the sun is shining down on me” or if things aren’t good and it feels like “a road marked with suffering,” either way, blessed be the name of the Lord.
Find reasons in all seasons of life to praise God. No matter the circumstances, always find the time and find a reason to follow the example of Job and say, “blessed be the name of the Lord.”