How To Find Hope Through Christian Music

Have you ever noticed the power of music in a movie? At just the right moments the music changes as the storylines become heightened and suspenseful. You find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next. Movie producers play on our emotions through the strategic placement of various sound clips. Ultimately though, music is a gift from God. Best of all, we can find hope through Christian Music.

The importance of music to humans

“Virtually all cultures, from the most primitive to the most advanced, make music. . . In tune or not, we humans sing and hum; in time or not, we clap and sway; in step or not, we dance and bounce.” (1)

I can’t imagine a world without music. It is important to my emotions and spirit.

The impact of music on our health

“Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory.” (2)

Music is currently being used in many therapies. These include, but are not limited to: the reduction of fatigue in cancer patients, improving the mental health of people who are incarcerated, improvement of circulation, and heart health. It is no secret to athletes that music improves performance.

The effect of music on our brains and nervous system

Research has found that relaxing music can help our nervous systems recover much faster after experiencing something stressful. (3)

Music also helps our brains remain sharp and young. It gives our brains a type of workout, much like doing calisthenics. Various parts of the brain work together to decode and interpret music: pitch, melody, chords, harmony, timbre, rhythm, emotional content to name a few. (1, 2)

For patients who have had strokes or traumatic brain injuries, music helps to “re-establish some of the connections that were there before the injury.” (4)

The effect of music on our emotions

Music has the power to make us feel sad, happy, scared, you name it. That is why it is used so effectively in movies. Musicians often create music to express their feelings.

Our “associations with certain music are very strong. In some cases, you might not even like the particular song, but you like the memories or feelings that you associate with it.” Even dementia patients light up when they hear music from when they were in their twenties. (4)

Can a person find hope in secular music?

“Researchers think one of the most important functions of music is to create a feeling of cohesion or social connectedness. ” (3)

From this standpoint, there is hope in knowing you are not alone, that you are connected to others. As music elevates our emotions, we receive a momentary feeling of hope even when hope may not be there. Unfortunately, secular music can only take you so far.

Music is a gift from God to help us connect with Him. Secondarily, it was designed to connect us with others who love God.

Finding hope through Christian hymns

Hymns date back to at least Biblical times. The word “hymn” means a song of praise (Wikipedia). Many hymns started out as poems and later were set to music. Some are the heart cry of ones who have gone through a gut-wrenching experience and found their anchor, their encouragement, and their hope in God.

The first song in the Bible can be found in Exodus 15: 1-13, 18. It was composed after Moses and the Israelites had passed through the Red Sea. The early church used “hymns” (5), and King David wrote a book full of hymns of praise and deliverance. A few of the references to singing are found in Psalm 69:30, Psalms 21:13, Psalm 150:1-6, and Psalm 30:4.

The following hymns come from the 1800s and early 1900s. Even if you don’t know the melodies, these songs can be used as prayers of thanksgiving and supplication, enriching your alone time with God. Some of them are having a comeback, being used in conjunction with the newer praise music sung in churches today.

It Is Well With My Soul (1873)

“When peace like a river attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll, Whatever my lot thou hast taught me to say, it is well with my soul.” (Text: Horatio G. Spafford. Music: Philip P. Bliss)

Blessed Assurance (1873)

“Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! O what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.” (Text: Fanny J. Crosby. Music: Phoebe P. Knapp)

Great Is Thy Faithfulness (1923)

“Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father, There is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not; As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.” (Text: Thomas O. Chisholm. Music: William Runyan)

The Solid Rock (1863)

“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.” (Text: Edward Mote. Music: William Bradbury)

Finding hope through modern Christian music

Times change but the word of God does not. Christian music has gone through changes in tempos, styles, and presentations. What makes it “Christian” is that it has a solid Biblical message: our hope is in God alone.

I Have This Hope

I have this hope in the depth of my soul. Through the flood or the fire you’re with me, you won’t let go.” (Tenth Avenue North)

The story behind this song is amazing. It is Biblical to the core and highly encouraging.

Who Am I

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth would choose to know my name, would care to feel my hurt? … You catch me when I am falling and you’ve told who I am. I am yours.” (Casting Crowns)

This song has blessed me numerous times when life seemed hopeless, and I felt helpless. Again it has solid Biblical roots.

In The Eye Of The Storm

In the eye of the storm you remain in control. In the middle of the war you guard my soul. You alone are the anchor when my sails are torn. Your love surrounds me in the eye of the storm”. (Ryan Stevenson)

When life seems stormy and out of control, this song has helped me hang on. Ryan wrote it after losing his dad to cancer and his twins to miscarriage.

Do It Again

“Your promise still stands. Great is your faithfulness. I’m still in your hands. This is my confidence, you’ve never failed me yet … You made a way when there was no way, and I believe I’ll see you do it again” (Elevation Worship)

Remembering how God has helped us in the past, or how He has helped others gives us hope that He will continue to keep His promises. So many of the Old Testament promises/prophecies have already been fulfilled. With that kind of a track record, God can be trusted. That brings hope.

Almost Home

“Are you disappointed, are you desperate for help? … This road will be hard but we win in the end … don’t forget what lies ahead. We are almost home, soon all your burdens will be gone.” (Mercy Me)

When we know Jesus, the promise of heaven brings great hope. Someday we will be with Him forever. Do you know Jesus? If not, please call 888-need-Him, or go to chataboutjesus.com. Someone is waiting there to talk to you.

How to find hope through Christian music: conclusion

“Music soothes the body, mind and soul.” (6) This is particularly true if the music is Christian, based on the word of God. So if you are still wondering how to find hope through Christian music, songs that echo scripture are the answer.

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References:

  • (1) https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/music-and-health
  • (2) https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/keep-your-brain-young-with-music
  • (3) https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-music#takeaway
  • (4) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170412181341.htm
  • (5) Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16, I Corinthians 14:26
  • (6) https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/head-games/201812/3-ways-music-heals-the-soul
  • https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evidence-based-living/201708/music-is-good-the-soul-and-your-health

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