My heart feels heavy in my chest, and my eyes fill with tears.
What’s wrong with me? Why do I feel so stressed and overwhelmed? I shake my head, wishing I could shake away the anxiety.
I open my laptop and head over to YouTube. I need something to calm me down. To relax the rapid beating of my heart so I can concentrate on the things I need to get done. . .
For the past year or two, whether listening or playing it myself, music has been a huge help to calm my nerves and put me at ease, whether I need fun, upbeat songs or quiet, peaceful worship music.
2020 has been a source of stress and anxiety for many of us. How do we handle the effects COVID-19 has had on us? How do we deal with racism, riots, and the fight between the political parties? How do we make sense of all the waywardness in the world?
Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, I go to my Bible, prayer, and music.
Today, I want to share with you 5 songs that are encouraging to me during these uncertain times. These songs are filled with truth and give me such peace and assurance that God is still on the throne, and I hope they will encourage you as well.
Back in March, when we were all in quarantine, JJ Heller came out with a new song that I only recently discovered and fell in love with. It’s called “You Already Know.”
In this song, JJ Heller talks about how everything seems so uncertain, and “nothing’s what it was two weeks ago.” I’m sure we can all relate to this feeling.
But the song goes on to remind us that God is still in control:
“But you already know
You already know
Everything I’m scared of
Everything I hope
You hold my tomorrow
And all tomorrow holds
You already know”
This song is so simple, yet so beautiful and powerful. Whenever you wonder if God is still in control of whatever you’re going through, sing this song to him as a prayer. Ask him to help you trust him.
2. “CHRIST THE SURE AND STEADY ANCHOR,” BY SOVEREIGN GRACE MUSIC
How many times have you felt like life is a boat, and right now you’re in the midst of a storm? I know I’ve felt that way before.
I think of the disciples who were in the boat with Christ on the Sea of Galilee, and suddenly a tempest came upon them. They quickly woke Jesus from his sleep, and “[h]e replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.”
When we are in the midst of a storm, we need to turn our eyes to Christ, who is our “sure and steady anchor”:
“Christ the sure and steady Anchor
In the fury of the storm
When the winds of doubt blow through me
And my sails have all been torn
In the suffering, in the sorrow
When my sinking hopes are few
I will hold fast to the Anchor
It shall never be removed”
3. “TURN YOUR EYES UPON JESUS,” BY HELEN LEMMEL
There’s a hymn that my dad, sisters, and I used to sing sometimes at a nursing home, called “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” I remember always loving this song, but, not only is the tune beautiful, the words are comforting.
“Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” talks about just that: fix your eyes on the Savior even though things might not be going well.
“O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free.”
Bonus song: Just last year, Sovereign Grace Music wrote a song called “Turn Your Eyes,” and it’s based on this hymn. The chorus of Helen Lemmel’s hymn is turned into the first verse, and Sovereign Grace Music wrote other verses and a chorus. They did such a wonderful job with this song, and I think we need to listen to the important truths in both of these songs more often.
4. “CHRIST OUR HOPE IN LIFE AND DEATH,” BY KEITH AND KRISTYN GETTY
I forget exactly how I found this song (maybe on the radio), but when my friend emailed me and told me she was struggling, this was the song I sent to her. This was the song she said she needed to hear.
Keith and Kristyn Getty are one of my family’s favorite Christian artists. This song in particular seems to pertain to our situation right now: Where is our hope amidst all the craziness in the world?
Praise God, we do have hope! As the song says,
“What is our hope in life and death?
Christ alone, Christ alone
What is our only confidence?
That our souls to Him belong”
If we have been saved, we have the hope that, no matter what happens to us here on earth, our souls belong to Christ, and we will live with him forever one day.
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.” (Eph. 1:18)
5. SONGS BASED ON THE PSALMS
Keith Getty has also co-written several songs based on the Psalms. “I Will Wait For You,” based on Psalm 130, is one of my favorites!
“I Will Wait For You” talks about how God rescued us from our sins. He doesn’t keep a record of our wrongs (aren’t you so grateful?), and by God’s grace and his own sacrifice, we are able to stand before his throne.
“Out of the depths I cry to You
In darkest places I will call
Incline Your ear to me anew
And hear my cry for mercy Lord
. . .
I will wait for You, I will wait for You
Through the storm and through the night
I will wait for You, surely wait for You
For Your love is my delight”
‘Til next time! I hope you will take the time to look up these songs and listen to them. You may be surprised how much they encourage you!
Tomorrow (December 1st), I’ll be sharing 5 more songs to encourage you, so keep an eye out for that!