Recently, I had a season where the squeeze was tight on my family and friends. It seemed everything that could go wrong did – from hospitalizations to car accidents to COVID, the weight threatened to crush me. I fought the darkness with the weapon of worship.
Despite the press, I went to church on Sunday. I’ve learned that thinking I can gain time by skipping church is always a loss in the long run. That week, they sang “Firm Foundation (He Won’t)” by Cody Carnes. My mouth formed words that no matter how hard it got, God would never fail me ever. Tears of relief streamed down my face. God can’t fail. He always prevails. Even in the storms, the Lord helps me stay steady. The truth seeped into my soul and became my anthem throughout the week.
It makes sense that spiritual songs usher the Spirit into our minds and reinforce our hearts. Ephesians 5:18-20 says, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (NKJV).
While the world may say to drink to drown your sorrows, the Bible says to pull out your hymnal. The time-tested words contain deep doctrine so you can tap into spiritual strength to fortify you soul. Sometimes, people knock the old hymns as antiquated, but if they have lasted hundreds of years, that says something. I love both contemporary praise music and the classics. The hymn “Have Faith in God,” reminds me of God's sovereignty that supersedes my circumstances. I can trust God when I don’t see answers to prayer immediately, because He will answer yet.
We also gain strength from singing the name of Jesus. Isaiah 12:2 says, “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’” (NKJV) It may seem silly to think of a person as a song, but think of the love songs on the radio. Many of them name the person the singer extols. So, why not sing Jesus? I love the old hymn “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Sweetest Name I Know” also known as “He Keeps Me Singing.” He does! When I keep singing the name of Jesus over and over, it brings His power into the room. When I vocalize His goodness and grace, and it puts my focus back on the character of God instead of my circumstances.
Now, I can’t carry a tune in a bucket. Fortunately, all God desires is for me to make a joyful noise. I pray that you find your songs of strength. May God keep you singing as you go to strengthen you heart more and more with each psalm of hope that you sing.
Joanna Eccles has led Bible studies for over ten years and completed the year-long C. S. Lewis Fellows Program. She is passionate about discipleship and helping people know God better. Joanna enjoys coffee, traveling, and reading, and currently lives in Virginia.