Playing the Blues & Following Jesus

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“You can’t play the blues til you’ve been through the blues.” That’s what a lot of famous blues players say. You can’t play the blues from your soul until you’ve been through hard times and sorrow, “my baby left me, was with anotha man” etc. Think about Eric Clapton, “Tears in Heaven” is about his 4 year old son dying from falling out of a window. He’s one of the best blues guitarists around today; if that’s not hard times, I don’t know what is.

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          The Blues and Jesus

I can’t help but think about how this relates to our relationship with Jesus. Until we have a reason to rely on Him and go through hard times, we don’t learn how to ‘play the blues.’ Often, so we can learn how to follow Him, He allows those trials to happen to us so that we can learn. (James 1:2-4)

Usually because of our pride, we have to go through these trials to become more confident in the attributes of God; that He can be our refuge, peace, comfort, and so much more for us when we follow Jesus. (Psalm 9:9, 18:2, 18:29, 23:3)

One could argue, just like the blues, that you can’t learn how to follow Jesus without going through hard times (Proverbs 3:12, Psalm 11:5). It’s through the hard times and trials that we rely on Him more and get a little closer to relying on Him for everything (Romans 5:3-4).

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          God’s toolbox

God brings out the toolbox of his attributes to use on us to bring us closer to Him. Even the “bad” ones. God is loving, kind, just, He grows angry, He despises pride (1 Peter 5:5). He loves us so much that He’ll do whatever is possible to bring us closer to Him. I personally love that, because for the rest of eternity, I won’t go through hard times, at all. Surely, anything that brings us closer to God that we won’t experience for the majority of eternity is called for us to have joy in (2 Corinthians 7:9-10).

We are somewhat saddened when someone we despise leaves our lives, knowing we will never see them again, so how much more should we be saddened when we leave this earth in which we are chastened to be brought closer to God, it’s a beautiful thing which we will never again experience. (See Cheating Heaven: https://connordefehr.wordpress.com/2013/04/18/cheating-heaven/ )

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          Verses

James 1:2-4:My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

Psalm 9:9:The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed,” A refuge in times of trouble.

Proverbs 3:12: “For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.”

Romans 5:3-4: “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

2 Corinthians 7:9-10: Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”

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One thought on “Playing the Blues & Following Jesus

  1. Kelly Brown Douglas would adore this post. She is a professor, among many other things, at Goucher College and Blues theology is her baby. Glad to see others see it too.

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