It was only seven days into my senior year at Baylor, and everything was going wrong. Coming out of a difficult summer, I expected everything in my life was about to turn around – that every dream would come true and every prayer would be answered.
It wasn’t just wishful thinking either. I heard clearly from God that things in my life were about to bloom.
But they didn’t. My classes, my ministry, my Lifegroup, my work, my relationships, my music – nothing was blossoming how I expected it would. I sat down on the floor of my room, feeling like God had cheated me. In my disappointment, I opened my Bible to Psalm 50.
It’s an amazing chapter. The beginning describes how powerful, fearsome and huge our God is. Suddenly, God Himself enters the scene and He gathers together everyone who has remained faithful to Him in the midst of suffering.
And then, God tells them this:
“I will not accept a bull from your house or goats from your folds. For every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle on a thousand hills…[Instead], offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” (Psalm 50:9-10, 14-15)
In that moment, I realized thankfulness is sometimes a sacrifice. I realized true worship is not just a natural response to good circumstances, but also a prophetic and sacrificial declaration in the midst of bad circumstances.
God didn’t want me to react to my disappointment with unbelief, as if God’s very nature had somehow changed and I was His first victim. He wanted me to worship Him despite the disappointment, trusting in His goodness whether I saw it or not.
I resolved then to declare God’s goodness no matter my circumstance. That night, alone on the floor of my room, I wrote a song straight out of Psalm 50. It’s a song declaring belief in God’s character. It’s a song proclaiming the truth that God is over all, and He will come through for His people. It’s a song asserting God will have the final word in His people’s lives.
Later that night, I sat on my porch swing and played the beginnings of what would eventually become “Our God Comes” for my friend Brandon Seibert. When I told him the song didn’t have a bridge yet, he got an excited look in his eye. “I think I have something. Just keep playing those chords.”
We were both amazed at how quickly the song came together. But we believed God had given it to us as an anthem we could sing in our pain, while believing God is faithful and will come through for us in the end.
It’s crazy to me how a song that began so personally – with me alone on the floor of my room – is now being sung by hundreds of people who each have their own experiences of testing and trial. I didn’t set out to write a song for our movement. But God chose to take the work He did in me on the floor of my room and multiply it out to become an anthem our church can rally around.
Follow Thomas on Twitter at @ThomasJWilson