My life has been a whirlwind of travel and trouble in the last few weeks—a mission trip to Senegal, unexpected deaths immediately before and after my trip, a church business matter that lacked much of our usual harmony—a whirlwind. Honestly, I have been reeling a bit from all of that. But God knew what I needed as He always does. A man who took part in a doctrinal study that I recently taught asked me to send him a copy of the doxologies I composed as a summary for each of the doctrines we studied. I believe that rather than a gaping yawn, doctrine should provoke a heart of praise. So as I prepared to send them to my friend, I looked at them once again. And I was reminded that God has met me in the whirlwind of my life: sustaining me, blessing me, using me, loving me—and He put a new song of praise in my heart again.
So I want to share one of those doxologies with you. We began our doctrinal studies with a look at the mysterious nature of Trinity: one God in three persons. It's a complex truth, a complex oneness. It's not about mathematics; it's about relationship. It is no easy truth to get one's mind around, yet the Bible teaches us that it is in Trinity that we relate to God and God relates to us. God expresses Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As the hymn declares: "God in three persons, blessed Trinity." So though I can't fully grasp the depth of the meaning of Trinity, I can certainly express my praise. I offer the following doxology in the hope that it may inspire your own praise to our Triune God.
Praise the Father from whom all blessings flow! Praise Him who speaks whole worlds into existence. Praise Him for His holiness and for His majesty. For His largeness and His vastness. Praise Him to whom the oceans are as puddles, and the mountains are as plains. Praise Him who can fling stars from His fingertips and hold the earth in the palm of His hand. Praise Him who could squash us like grapes under His feet, and yet has chosen to love us and to save us instead. Praise Him who hears our prayers and our cries for help, and who reaches down, in Jesus Christ, with His long, long arm to lift us up. Praise! Praise the Father!
Praise the Son! Praise Jesus who left His throne and His kingly crown to come to earth for us. Praise Him who showed us the face of God in a way that would not kill us dead. Praise Him whose eyes are full of compassion and whose hands are full of grace. Praise Him who has borne our sins and carried our sorrows; who was pierced for our transgressions, and wounded for our iniquities; and by whose stripes we are healed. Praise Him who died for us and yet came forth from the grave: Him who forgives us by His death and saves us by His life. Praise Him who is head of the church. Praise Him who comes to judge the living and the dead. Praise Him who, in the Father's house, prepares a place for us and will doubtless come again and receive us to Himself so that where He is, there we may be also. Praise! Praise the Son!
Praise the Spirit! Praise the Holy Spirit who is our Comforter, Counselor, Encourager, and Friend. Praise Him who makes His home in us: who convicts us when we sin; who comforts us when we hurt; who encourages us when we're down; and who prays for us when we just can't find the words. Praise Him who tells us the truth and reminds us of everything that Jesus taught. Praise Him who fills us and grows within us the fruit of love, joy, peace, long-suffering, and all the rest. Praise Him who gifts and empowers the church and who alone can conform us into the image of Christ the Son to the glory of God the Father forever and ever.
No wonder St. Francis of Assisi would be compelled to write …
Praise! Praise the Father!
Praise the Son!
And praise the Spirit,
Three in One.
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!