As we begin the countdown to the release of our “Stand Firm” worship project based on 1 Peter, I wanted to provide you with some info on the songs written. This first storytellers edition is on the song “Suffer Like Him” which we have sung the last 2 weeks at North Side.
The 5th song on the project, “Suffer Like Him” is based on 1 Peter 2:13-25. This was the first song that gave us a great challenge as we wrote. You will see why when you read it.
13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
The above passage is direct and clear, but it is not the topics that you normally hear in worship music. This was the first temptation to skip over a section. The more we studied it, the more we realized this was a topic that deserved a song. We decided for the verses to focus on the struggle that we as believers would face with the chorus turning our hearts towards worship focusing on Jesus’ actions recorded in verses 21-25.
The melody for the verses came as I was strumming the guitar late one night. The chorus came about on the lawn mower. I heard this escalating melody with a bass line walk up.
We used verse 17 for the bridge. The simplicity of this verse summed it up nicely. “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” We changed the last sentence to “honor those who lead” so that it could be applicable to any nation at any time.
The feel for the song was a simple stomp kinda song. Acoustic instruments dancing around each other as the song goes back and forth between dark and ominous to bright and cheerful.
I wasn’t so sold on the song when I demoed it for the band, but they all loved the straight-forward manner of it. It was just genuine commitment to hard things to which Jesus calls us.
That’s our prayer for you as well:
“I will suffer like Him, follow in His steps, who committed no sin, never offered threats, I will suffer well like Jesus the Christ, He took my place upon the cross, I have died to sin, my gain, His loss, I will trust my God to make all things right.”
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.
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