By Candice Lucey, Crosswalk.com
In a Bible Study Minute devotional, Debbie McDaniel says that, too often, “with souls distant and cold, we sing words, we listen to music and words, and then we go home. Unchanged.”
Hebrews 13:15 reminds us that when we joyfully worship to the Lord in spite of trials, however, we are making a sacrifice of praise.
This beautiful devotional reminds us that, “When we make that decision to fix our eyes on him give Him, and daily give him praise, no matter what's staring us straight in the face, we suddenly realize that God has already begun to release the grip those struggles can have over us.”
So, no matter what trials you face today—sing to the Lord.
The following four worship songs reflect this reality: God knows your pain, and he will overcome it. In fact, he already has overcome it through Christ.
1. Waymaker by Sinach
Osinachi Kalu (Sinach) Joseph is a gospel singer from Nigeria. Her name means “Comes from God” and she takes that name seriously, using her talent as an ambassador of the Lord to point to God. He is a “Way Maker,” a “Miracle Worker,” a “Promise Keeper,” and a “Light in the Darkness.” These four names for the Father remind us that he has promised to make a way for us out of our darkness, and that way seems miraculous to those who don’t know him. Even now, he is “Healing every heart” who receives in and believes in Christ for salvation.
Our response to God’s healing grace must be that of Sinach: “I worship you.”
This song has become an internet sensation thanks to Sinach’s earthy, rich voice, her emotional delivery, and the colorful imagery of her video. The song and video together are joyous, reminding the listener that God is both loving and powerful.
2. I Choose to Worship by Rend Collective
The desire of Ireland’s Rend Collective is “to shed light in the dark places. In a society that seems to continually face bad news, the lyrics point to the good news found in Jesus for every season and circumstance.” Their style invites fans of both folk and pop music. Unlike their energetic worship hits like “My Lighthouse” and “Build Your Kingdom Here,” “I Choose to Worship” is gentle and reflective.
Rend Collective consistently points to the power of God over every circumstance, rebuking Satan’s lies and rebelling against hopelessness. “When the enemy says I’m done/I lift my praises/ When my world comes crashing down/I lift my/ praises high/ Till the darkness turns to dawn I lift my praises/ I choose to worship.”
As the lyrics say, worship is a choice.
It’s a sacrifice in the middle of strife, but also points to the good news: we can worship because we have a hope and a purpose beyond the messiness and pain of life. Unbelievers hear Christians singing joyfully in the midst of suffering and they wonder...how can they do that?
When we sing praises, we share that hope. We share our witness.
3. God, I Look to You by Bethel Music
Songs like this one reflect an abiding truth: God is faithful to help and heal if we keep our eyes fixed on him. Bethel’s song “God I Look to You” reminds us that the faithful “won't be overwhelmed” if we ask for “vision to see things like You do.”
Ask for eyes to see his power, and eyes to see as he does. “You're where my help comes from,” I can’t handle trials in my own strength, but “You know just what to do.” The wisdom of God doesn’t just make me feel better when times are tough; he gives me direction and discernment to make good choices.
In this song, we are reminded that when hard times hit, we must rest in his power.
“I will love You, Lord, my strength/ I will love You, Lord, my shield/ I will love You, Lord, my rock forever/ All my days I will love You, God.”
This song ,with its few lyrics and simple tune, helps us to set the Psalm to memory and take it into battle—whether the battle takes place in the family home or a hospital bed. Stay focused on God, not only for survival, but for love. For joy. For eternity.
4. Is He Worthy by Andrew Peterson and Ben Shive, performed via Zoom by Fellowship Worship
Finally, virtual choirs have created a new paradigm for participating in fellowship, even for singers and musicians separated by great distances. Some results have been stunning and inspiring. Real people singing from their own homes demonstrate unity in the body which transcends physical isolation.
If you are alone in an oncology ward receiving chemotherapy; if you’re in a prison paying for a crime you committed, ashamed but seeking redemption; if your marriage has crumbled; you suffer from crippling mental illness; or sickness has separated you from others—technology restores the closeness of fellowship. The listener in his or her own home is seen by a loving God and connected to his people.
“Do you feel the world is broken? Do you feel the shadows deepen? But do you know that all the dark won't stop the light from getting through? (We do)”
The singer effectively says I know the questions you’re pondering, because they’re mine, too, but here is God’s challenge: do you believe in Christ to fix your mess? That he already did?
“Is all creation groaning? Is a new creation coming? Is the glory of the Lord to be the light within our midst? Is it good that we remind ourselves of this? (It is)”
The singer goes deeper...the pain you feel is a reflection of a bigger problem, the sin problem destroying everything. And the light that came to save you is also powerful enough to restore all creation to a perfect relationship with God.
I just love the call-answer format, like old-fashioned church liturgy. It’s a call to participate as a group. It inspires listeners to engage, not just consume what they’re hearing, and to be part of something bigger than themselves. The song emphasizes Christ’s power over sin and all of its consequences.
Who is able to bring this miracle about? “Is anyone worthy? Is anyone whole? Is anyone able to break the seal and open the scroll?” The answer is “yes.”
We won’t fix the mess we made of our environment; we won’t overthrow corrupt governments; sickness, violence, and pain won’t go away by our power. There is only One capable of restoring peace and beauty; of restoring us to the Father.
“The Lion of Judah who conquered the grave/ He is David's root and the Lamb who died to ransom the slave/Is He worthy of all blessing and honor and glory? Is He worthy of this?”
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Lordn
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Candice Lucey loves Christ and writing about His promises brings her much pleasure. She lives in the mountains of BC, Canada with her family.