I asked my incredible wife, Paige, what she thought my first post should be and in her wisdom, she said, “let people know where ‘For this we have Jesus’ came from because the heart behind the whole album is wrapped up in that.” It is a great story…a story that I still don’t fully understand or can truly fathom, but one that has grown my faith.
Like many of you, I grew up in a church where I if it had anything to do with music, I was there. With my Dad being the Worship Pastor, I didn’t have a choice, not that I’d choose differently had I been given one. Since the age of 5, I was involved with Children’s Choir and loved all the plays, camps and special events where I was able to perform. I can see so much of who I am as a singer and worship leader was already being cultivated at this early age.
Ever wonder what John Bolin used to looked like at 5 years old?
Or 8 years old?
Yes, and if you are wondering, I still bleed “cardinal red”!
My first children’s choir director was a lady by the name of Carolyn Miller. She had one of the largest hearts for teaching kids to love music. I can still hear her and her warm ups, “Come Christians join to sing, ‘Halle-OO-ah amen!’” Well she was a wonderful mother with her 4 incredible kids. When my family moved to Texas in 2000, the Millers were one of the families we knew we’d miss the most. It was the summer of 2001 that I heard the news that Ms. Carolyn was diagnosed with cancer in her hip. I can’t imagine the shock that the Millers felt during this time. But people from all over the country began to lift this woman up with a hope that she would be healed. It was the summer of 2003 when I learned that Ms. Carolyn’s treatment was not working as they hoped and the cancer had spread so fast that they had to amputate one of her legs. I will never forget this day for a few reasons. First, I’ll never forget when I heard the news and how I felt such a deep sense of confusion. Why? Why would God do this to an incredibly godly woman, wife, and mother? Secondly, I remember God and I had a heart-to-heart. This 16-year-old boy was really struggling with how the God he loved and devoted his life to could allow this to happen. And thirdly, and most importantly, I remember God’s clear answer to all of my questions and doubt. That very evening I was leading a revival at First Baptist Church in a small town of Fruitvale, Texas. There were only about 50 people there in that small country church. I couldn’t tell you what I sang or who spoke, but I can tell you what he said. He was sharing about how the difficulty in this life cannot always be explained and how we have to trust the Lord on the mountaintop as well as in the valley. Then he said this…I can almost remember it word for word, “In my family,” he said, “we always had a phrase that we would share in good times and bad, ‘for this we have Jesus…for THIS we have JESUS.’” It was as if the Lord Himself looked down on my doubting heart, held my face in His hands and said, “John, I allow many things in many ways for reasons you may never know or understand…but I promise you 2 things, 1) All things are sifted through MY hands, and 2) For all the things you’ll ever go through, you have Me.” Wow, I don’t remember anything else the Pastor said after that.
I went home that night and in the quietness of my bedroom penned these words,
For this we have Jesus,
For this we have the Lord.
For this we have Jesus and His Love forevermore.
We may never see the purpose, or know the reason why.
But for this we have Jesus,
For this we have the Lord.
It was just a few months thereafter that I received the news that Ms. Carolyn went home to be with the Lord. I was honored beyond words that “For This We Have Jesus” was played at her funeral as a testimony to God’s faithfulness and presence through the whole situation.
There is a misconception that those that put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ will then cease from any pain or struggle thereafter. For those who are children of God, as we look at the scars and bruises of this life, you know this to be far from the truth. We all face unexpected difficulties, pain, and loss in this life and even though we do not fully understand it, God allows these sifted moments to strengthen and teach us more about Himself. And this unexplainable peace He promises, comes not from the absence of conflict, but in our proximity to the Heavenly Father.
It is my prayer that the words of this song, as well as all other songs on this project, encourages you to stand firm and hold on to the promises of God. The promise that no matter where you go or what you do His love and mercy is greater than our sin, that the great I AM will supply our every need, that His grace is sufficient for every moment in life, that all things work together for good to those who love God, and that even death is not the end but only a door to endless life with the Lord forever. So as we walk this life of joy and sorrow, light and darkness, new and old, and life and death…for this we have Jesus.
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
To listen to more songs from FOR THIS WE HAVE JESUS click here.