"You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance."- Psalm 32:7
Being a child born in the 1970's and as the product of hippie parents, I was raised on classic rock music. One of my earliest and fondest memories took place on weekend drives to our cabin in upstate New York, where the entire time was spent listening and singing along to the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Simon & Garfunkel, and Elton John.
Music can play an integral role and have a special place in our lives. Depending on the mood, the occasion, and the place music can provide people with a memory from their past, motivation to reach a goal, medication from a hurting heart, and even meaning for their life. If you listen and watch carefully you will see how important songs are to...
people getting ready for an intense workout at the gym, by putting in their earphones and starting their playlist.
couples selecting their favorite love song for their first dance at the wedding reception.
presidential candidates choosing a song to be their anthem and message to voters.
a child's learning about their ABC's to touching their toes to cleaning up & sharing to even about God's love through catchy and energetic tunes.
As I have walked with Jesus for these last 25 years, music has still played a large role in my joy, my shaping, my health, and my growth. In fact, over this past summer it was listening to and declaring certain songs that helped me through a particularly stressful season marked by sickness and sleeplessness. It was in this time that Christian artists such as Fernando Ortega, Keith Green, and Bethel Worship and anointed songs entitled, "No Longer Slaves", "It Is Well", "I am Not Alone", "Lord of Eternity", "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God", and "When I Hear the Praises Start", brought me such a deep level of God's peace, strength, and hope. Over the last three months it would be quite common for me to play these songs multiple times a day. Often during the playing, of what became for me these dear friends and divine instruments, I would find myself jubilantly singing along, standing on the message of each lyric, quietly listening as I closed my eyes to rest, and even pleading with God for help through the storm.
Throughout the Bible we see some pretty remarkable things conveyed when it comes to the idea of God surrounding us in song or placing a song in our heart:
Psalm 40:3- "He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him."
Psalm 96:2- "Sing to the Lord, praise His name; proclaim His salvation day after day."
Zephaniah 3:7- "The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing."
Ephesians 5:18-19- "Do not get drunk with wine which lead to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in Psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit."
Psalm 59:16- "But I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love; for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble."
Acts 16:25- "About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them."
The next time that you find yourself in a moment of discouragement, heartbreak, or great need, turn off the radio, mute the pity party going on in your head, and break out some favorite worship songs that will cause you to burst forth into song and strength. When a loved one lets you down, allow the Spirit of God through worship to lift you up! When you mess up at work and the boss is irate, allow the Lord to remind you of the pleasure He has for you! When your thoughts are taking you down a road of despair and dark clouds, allow your mind to hear and your lips to speak of the radiant hope we have in Christ! When the outside noise of the world becomes deafening, allow the soft voice of the Spirit within you to become delightful! When you are filled with angst or emptied of strength, allow a jubilee chorus to be massaged in!
The faithfulness of God's love and the greatness of His power is worth our meditating on, declaring in song, moving in harmony with, and making our joyful everyday reality.