HOPE IN THE TENSION

God is a master composer.

There is nothing quite like music.


In music, there are arrangements of notes that fit nicely together (consonance). They are pleasant on the ear. They don’t rock the boat. There are also combinations of notes that clash (dissonance). Whether consciously or not your body notices these clashes. They make you feel tense. This can be called musical tension.


Though it seems counterintuitive, tension in music can be beautiful. The notes that sound out of place can be woven into a beautiful musical piece. It can sound horribly awkward and disturbing at first, but depending on how the musician walks through it, the following chords of relief sound stunning following the tension. They leave you with a sense of wonder and peace.


The same can be said of the tension we face in life. When you walk through tension, don’t give up. Keep on walking through it. Keep your eyes on the things above. How you respond to the tension determines what notes follow. If you allow God into your situation, He can use the tension to create beauty. He’s a master composer.


Jon Foreman of Switchfoot spoke about musical tension and the tension we walk through in our lives in a Tedx Talk:

Don't let past mistakes rob the present of its potential for beauty and joy...I dare you to make a melody with the tension, to dance upon these strings of life, to continue to practice and engage in the struggle. Be brave. Your melody is worth it. Be strong. Your melody is needed. I dare you to live out the purpose for which you were born; that your melody would soar above the past, above the pain, above the dissonance; the song that you were born to sing would come into life. The composer of time and space has given you a part in this great symphony. This is your moment. This is your opus. This is your life. I dare you to move.

Don’t be afraid of failure. Don’t lose hope in the darkness of tension. Tension comes and it goes. You may feel like the light is never going to shine through your darkness. Your tension may feel never-ending. But there will be relief. Even if you never experience relief in this life, if you know Christ, you will experience the most incredible relief for all eternity.

So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. (2 Corinthians 4:18)

Don’t ever lose sight of what’s ahead and who’s in charge. Our lives – our experiences, stories, wins, and hurts are all being woven into a beautiful masterpiece – God’s song. How amazing that He includes us in His song.


Don’t fear tension. Embrace the opportunities that come with it.

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. (James 1:2-3)

Allow God to keep on composing. Tension is often the catalyst for creating a beautiful masterpiece. How many personal feats as well as incredible organisations are the results of people experiencing tension? Don’t focus on the here and now. Hold onto hope. There’s a brighter day coming and oh, what beauty it will bring with it!


Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:1-2)


Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. (Hebrews 12:1-3)


I leave you peace; my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world does. So don’t let your hearts be troubled or afraid. (John 14:27)


But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:7-9)


For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:10)


Be humble under God’s powerful hand so he will lift you up when the right time comes. Give all your worries to him, because he cares about you. Control yourselves and be careful! The devil, your enemy, goes around like a roaring lion looking for someone to eat. Refuse to give in to him, by standing strong in your faith. You know that your Christian family all over the world is having the same kinds of suffering. And after you suffer for a short time, God, who gives all grace, will make everything right. He will make you strong and support you and keep you from falling. He called you to share in his glory in Christ, a glory that will continue forever. (1 Peter 5:6-10)


But the people who trust the Lord will become strong again. They will rise up as an eagle in the sky; they will run and not need rest; they will walk and not become tired. (Isaiah 40:31)


We were saved, and we have this hope. If we see what we are waiting for, that is not really hope. People do not hope for something they already have. But we are hoping for something we do not have yet, and we are waiting for it patiently. Also, the Spirit helps us with our weakness. We do not know how to pray as we should. But the Spirit himself speaks to God for us, even begs God for us with deep feelings that words cannot explain. God can see what is in people’s hearts. And he knows what is in the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit speaks to God for his people in the way God wants. We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him. They are the people he called, because that was his plan. (Romans 8:24-28)


But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isaiah 43:1-2)


No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:13-14)


And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6)

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© Shelley Ward