Updated: Jan 31, 2020
Disclaimer: My endorsement of the songs below does not mean I fully endorse each artist. The songs listed are those that the Lord has used as a balm to my spirit and as a reminder of who He is and who I am in Him.
Psalm 23 (Surely Goodness, Surely Mercy) - Shane and Shane (Psalms | Volume 2)
Shane and Shane's Psalms Volume 2 album has been one of the greatest encouragements to me over the last several years. Among the many beautiful songs inspired by the Psalms is this arrangement of Psalm 23. This psalm has become dear to me and I love how Shane and Shane capture the heart of God's promises in the music and in their arrangement. Listen and let it wash over you.
My All In Thee - Young Oceans (Advent)
This has been one of my "crying songs" especially when I have been out walking. Prayer upon prayer, this song echos many of the petitions in my heart with lyrics like, Lord I am blind, be Thou my sight. Lord I am weak, be Thou my might. A helper of the helpless be, and let me find my all in Thee.
Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor - Sovereign Grace Music (Together for the Gospel | Live 4)
Life can be harsh and sometimes it feels as though we are being flung around in the fury of the wind and raging storm. This song is so meaningful to me and the lyrics penetrate my heart each time I listen. 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 will never be removed. Praise the Lord for something secure and faithful.
The Joy of the Lord - Audrey Assad (Evergreen)
I love the fact that sorrow may linger and last for the night, but I am never alone. Sometimes when we are hurting, it's almost impossible to remember that we face nothing alone. Joy is usually the furthest thing from my mind in those moments. This song echoes Nehemiah 8:10 and sings, The joy of the Lord is my strength, my strength. Let us remember that all our strength to make it one more hour and one more day, comes from the joy of simply knowing Jesus.
The King of the World - Natalie Grant (Be One)
In the throes of a faith crisis, I was told by a friend that I needed to listen to this song. As I listened, I saw myself in the words, I try to put you in the box that I've designed. I try to pull you down so we are eye to eye....Still I run ahead and think I'm strong enough when you're the One who made me from the dust. Much of our anger and frustration while in pain is due to us wanting to be the ones in control. This song is a great reminder that we are not the king or queen of the world. God is and He is good at His job.
Do It Again - Elevation Worship (There is a Cloud)
A friend sent me this song one evening and I sank to the kitchen floor in tears. Every word of confusion like, Walking around these walls, I thought by now they'd fall, rang true to me. I absolutely love the hope this song gives me because I don't understand the ways of God. I don't understand why sometimes His answer to a desperate plea is "No" but regardless of all the things I don't understand, I must still say, Your promise still stands. Great is Your faithfulness!... I'm still in Your hands. This is my confidence, You never failed.
Arms of Grace - Bryan & Katie Torwalt (Praise Before My Breakthrough)
Sometimes we feel too damaged to even enter into God's presence to find healing. I love how this song reminds me that the arms of the Lord are wide open for me and all my messiness. My favorite line is, Bring your battle scars, He'll embrace them. Come as you are to the arms of grace. In your pain and with your wounds, you can be comforted there.
There is a Peace - Harvest (Preachers)
When you've been tempted and shaken, when you've been so far from Jesus and too close to hell, when your vision's been clouded by this world's delight, there is hope for your weary heart. There is a peace to settle your soul. I don't know about you, but that kind of promise is worth singing about.
Sweet Comfort - Sandra McCracken (Psalms)
Though sorrow, need, or death be mine, He holds me in his hand. The greatest comfort to a hurting heart is the knowledge that we will never, ever be left comfortless. Comfort is often what you long for most when you're deep in grief or suffering and this song points us to the fact that we not only have comfort, but the comfort promised to us is sweet.
The Dark Before the Dawn - Andrew Peterson (The Burning Edge of Dawn)
Have you ever felt like you've been waiting for some peace to come raining down out of the heavens on these war-torn fields? I have. Andrew Peterson has a way with words and he captures our heart's cry of "How long, Lord?!" in this song while encouraging us to hold tight because all this darkness is a small and passing thing.
I'd Rather Have You - Tommee Profitt and Brooke Griffith (Even So Come)
In the wake of grief or pain, It is difficult to see Christ as all-sufficient. While it sounds spiritual and holy to say we would rather have the Lord than anything or anyone, those words are not simple nor easy to live by. This song goes there with lyrics like, The treasure that I choose is treasure that lasts because I'd rather have You. May we get to the point where we can say, If it's not Your will God I don't even want it and simply prefer Jesus above all else.