Hymns were foundational in my own spiritual formation. Before I knew what it meant, I experienced “How Great” God was; I trusted “Jesus Loves Me,” because the Bible told me so.
Other hymns I needed to grow into, like a youngster grows into mastery of an adult bicycle. One such hymn was the “The Church’s One Foundation.” In particular, one stanza was a mystery:
Yet she on earth hath union
With God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion
With those whose rest is won:
O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we,
Like them, the meek and lowly,
In love may dwell with Thee.
I grew to appreciate the words, “and mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won.” They teach that we are, by faith and in the Spirit, united with the church eternal. Further, they encourage us to see ourselves from God’s perspective.
Only very rarely will Satan attack God’s people from the front and boldly. Satan specializes in the spiritual equivalent of pouring water in the gas tank. He delights to have us obsessively dwell upon our weaknesses and failures. We lose our power (desire?) to move forward because we become convinced none of it matters.
But enduring does matter. Living as a child of God, an ambassador for Christ, a Spirit empowered witness of “the Kingdom of Heaven”: it ALL matters!
Remember that our fear of sin and death kept us enslaved, chained (as it were), and helpless on our knees before the taunts of the evil one. But the victory over sin and death is total, completely swallowed up by the life we have in Jesus.
From God’s perspective, who we were apart from Christ is gone. Our lives are hidden in Him. We no longer live, but Christ lives within. He has already sought the prize and won the race. We follow Him. We run a race already completed. We walk in His steps. Endurance matters. Our endurance is our FIRST witness to our life in Jesus.