Singing through Hardship

Previously I wrote about the kinds of songs that are most helpful to those who are suffering.  Here I simply want to add to that something more basic – that it is a good idea to sing when things are hard.  Consider the examples in the New Testament.   The only time we read of Jesus singing is in the Upper room just before he was led away to die.    In Acts the only account of singing that I can recall is found when Paul and Silas were in gaol.  Given these circumstanes it would seem unlikely that the singing of either Jesus or these disciples was simply the outworking of some happy or joyful feeling.   What seems more likely is that they knew singing would help them deal with their suffering in a way that would glorify God and encourage their own hearts.

I knew a lady who suffered from chronic insomnia.  She would wake up in the middle of the night and find herself  anxious and unable to get back to sleep.  Doctors failed her but one thing that did help relieve her anxiety was to get out a hymnbook and start singing.

Joni Erickson Tada who is currently battling cancer attests to this also.  She writes, “there’s nothing like a little hymn-harmonizing with friends to make my spirits soar during this battle against breast cancer.”   Singing is not simply an expression of feeling but is also a God-given means of instructing our feelings.  It helps us look beyond our circumstances and reminds us that God is for us.


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