While Psalm 27 says the same message as this song (and better), Dark Horsesis still worth the post.

Probably the best “get pumped up” song I know that’s out right now. Probably why I hear it during football games & we’ll probably hear it during the olympics this summer, too. It’s completely inspiring (and the beat gets you going).

Yeah

I made my mistakes
I seen my heart cave in
I got my scars
I been to hell and back again

I wonder who can’t sing this. We’ve all made mistakes, our hearts have felt broken. We all have scars on the inside and outside and many of us have felt like we’ve been to hell and back again. Some of it just don’t make it known. And especially to what degree. I certainly have. And yet as some understand it, it’s worse than they think; and vice versa. It’s probably not as bad and worse than I think as well – only God knows. What I do know is that it is always for our sanctification – our continual progress of becoming more like Jesus.

But we have scars. Physical, of course; but that’s just the surface (pun intended). Emotional scars exist, too. Those thoughts, relationships, feelings and more – they leave scars of memories. Sometimes those memories are sparked by the smallest of things and other times you have to delve deep to even remember you why they might you remind you of a scar. Those emotional scars are hard to discern. We don’t even know what they are sometimes, even when we are very sensitive (as I have been recently). And because we don’t know, we can hardly expect others to know as well.

And then there’s the spiritual scars. They demonstrate the sin we’ve made, whether in an action we did or didn’t do. We are guilty of sin. We did it. We deserve the punishment. But we live with scars. Those scars help us to remember and are also the result of depravity. And we ought to be thankful that they are scars instead of the death we deserve from them. Jesus died so on earth we can live with “just scars,” and eventually in heaven with none at all – purity and complete sanctification at its best. I wonder what our remembrances will be at that point. In some ways I think I’ll only be able to look forward and not back when I get there, but we shall see . . .

Born for the blue skies
We’ll survive the rain
Born for the sunrise
We’ll survive the pain

We were created to live with God in paradise (see Genesis 1-2) – paraphrased here as blue skies and sunrises. Man, the skies are never so blue without a cloud in the sky as they are in California throughout most of the spring & summer. I often wonder why I deserve to live there. And sunrises? Among my most memorable, close to God experiences will probably forever remain playing guitar while the sun rises over the Atlantic. Breathtaking.

But it rains. Don’t get me wrong – rain is a good thing. My homeland of California is desperate for it, while I sit writing in the rainy northwest outside of Seattle. It rains. Life is tough. Sometimes we see a rainbow peek through or the ray of the sunshine, but it always rains. We know we will survive, but we sometimes question it in the rain. We can’t and shouldn’t. But it sure is hard. I think that’s why I like both the words in this song and the music. The words are reminders and the music is “up.”

[Chorus:]
We’re singing…
Hey, you can’t count us out
We’ve been running up against the crowd
Yeah, we are the dark horses
We’re singing…
Wait! It’s not over now
We’ve been down but we’ve never been out
Yeah, we are the dark horses

What a reminder. How I need to hear, pray and think this daily, if not hourly or minutely. It’s not over now. We have been down before but never out. The creditors might call. The funds diminish until the point when you don’t know HOW you’ll survive. But you know and trust God that you will. You don’t even know why then and know it’s only His strength that gives you what you need. It’s called faith. But is it ours? Was Luther right in saying faith alone? Of course he was (Ephesians 2:4 ff.). But whose? And how to we have it?

We found the way out
The city takes everything it can
But outside the crowds
I can feel my lungs again

I remember in seminary the discussion on the phrase “pistis christou.” It means faith (of) Christ. The ou ending in Greek is much like the ‘s (apostrophe “s”) ending we have in English. It implies possession. The debate was whether we ourselves had the faith in Jesus the Christ to save us or whether we needed faith in His faith. To some, seemingly pointless. But in the season I’m in, and am remembering from scars before, I am completely reliant upon Christ’s faith. I don’t have the strength to have faith, but songs like this, Scripture in the Psalms and more give me the faith to rely on Jesus – both His Person and His faith. Relying on Christ, letting go, and trusting are very powerless acts. We can’t do them on our own (John 15:5). Yet with Him we can do anything (Mt. 19:26). Man, I can rest easy in that. What a huge blessing. Gives me the confidence, hope, grace and peace I (we) need to step forward in this life.

[Faded Voice:]

Keep running with the dark horses
Hope makes the blood change courses
Keep running with the dark horses
Stand up with the dark horses
Keep running with the dark horses
Hope makes the blood change courses

This blog was set up to focus on hope. The hope of Jesus the Christ. That hope (a hope HE gives us, much like faith), is what changes the course of our lives. We are all dark horses. Everyone sees themselves as that – even famous people – movie stars, athletes, politicians, leaders and more. We’re all underdogs at something. I would argue that Christ-followers, and not just in this day and age, have always been dark horses. I hear many get on their “this is the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it” soapbox – and maybe they’re right that we are in the end times. But, it’s always been tough. America, what I know best, is beyond it’s glory days – I think that’s pretty agreed upon worldwide. But in its heyday in the 18th-20th centuries (and they weren’t easy for many, mind you), it was tough for people. Tough to maintain their devotion and discipleship to Christ. Similarly when Constantine made Christianity mandatory for the western world in the 4th century, it was tough to maintain a genuine faith that wasn’t just handed to you.

To truly follow Christ in life is to have faith and hope – both of which stem from God Himself through the Person of Christ and Holy Spirit. It’s hard. And we feel like we’re dark horses, underdogs, and have our backs up against the wall at times (sometimes self-imposed even). But we are blessed. Our blood and perspective can change courses. We can feel our lungs again. It’s not over now. And we will survive the rain and the pain.

I think I’ll ride that horse.

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