What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you wake up in the morning? Even though I hit the snooze a few times and try to stay in bed longer, sleep is generally not what’s on my mind. I often wake up with a song playing in my head. Sometimes it’s an old hymn. Other times it’s a new worship song that has helped me connect my heart to God’s.

God’s mercy is new every morning, no matter how I may have missed the mark and strayed from His ways the day before. Having a song of praise on my heart as I wake up in the morning is a tangible way for me to understand that God’s grace does not run out.

Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people;
praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:4-5 (NIV)

It’s not always that way though. I’ve gone through extended seasons of waking up with stress about the things I have to get done. Worry, frustration, or sadness would flood my mind instead of a song of praise. What is the difference in my life between those seasons?

Good Mornings and the Not-So-Good

As I compare the different seasons in my life, there seems to be a direct relation between my reliance on God and how I wake up in the morning. My snooze habits don’t really change, but my attitude and what is on my mind are completely different.

When I am in a season of growing in my relationship with God, I wake up with a new song on my heart every day. The seasons of more trust in God and His plan produce an attitude of joy and thanksgiving that manifests as praise in the morning.

The seasons of doubt and confusion lead to less-than-great mornings. When I try to rely on my own abilities and understanding, I wake up with stress and fear. Often times I don’t even sleep well through the night. I would go as far as saying that psychologists would probably diagnose me as clinically depressed in those seasons.

As We Trust

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13 (NIV)

Trust in God is like a gate. When we don’t trust Him, the gate is closed and it is harder for joy, peace, and hope to get through to our lives. To place our trust in God alone opens the gate wide for Him to fill us with joy and peace. When the floodgate of trust is open, hope overflows onto everyone we encounter.

Our faith journey and relationship with God is not meant to only be between us and God. We are not meant to contain our faith and keep it private. As we share our faith, our own faith grows. When our faith grows, the trust gate opens wider and it affects every aspect of our lives, even our attitude as we wake up in the morning.

It’s not coincidence that I am in a season of new songs every morning. We are in a season of spiritual growth at church right now as we dig into hearing from God and acting on how He leads us. Acting on The Word of God is scary at times, and even risky, but trusting Him is so much better than trying to rely on ourselves.

Teach Me To Sing

I waited and waited and waited for God.
At last he looked; finally he listened.
He lifted me out of the ditch,
pulled me from deep mud.
He stood me up on a solid rock
to make sure I wouldn’t slip.
He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,
a praise-song to our God.
More and more people are seeing this:
they enter the mystery,
abandoning themselves to God.

Blessed are you who give yourselves over to God,
turn your backs on the world’s “sure thing,”
ignore what the world worships;
The world’s a huge stockpile
of God-wonders and God-thoughts.
Nothing and no one
comes close to you!
I start talking about you, telling what I know,
and quickly run out of words.
Neither numbers nor words
account for you.

Doing something for you, bringing something to you—
that’s not what you’re after.
Being religious, acting pious—
that’s not what you’re asking for.
You’ve opened my ears
so I can listen.

So I answered, “I’m coming.
I read in your letter what you wrote about me,
And I’m coming to the party
you’re throwing for me.”
That’s when God’s Word entered my life,
became part of my very being.

I’ve preached you to the whole congregation,
I’ve kept back nothing, God—you know that.
I didn’t keep the news of your ways
a secret, didn’t keep it to myself.
I told it all, how dependable you are, how thorough.
I didn’t hold back pieces of love and truth
For myself alone. I told it all,
let the congregation know the whole story.

Psalm 40:1-10 (MSG)