I originally posted this on my church’s blog, but wanted to share it here as well.
In his excellent article, “Anxiety, Waiting and the Coronavirus,” Alasdair Groves reminds us of the unique kind of trial the current worldwide pandemic presents to us. We’re tempted to experience a “particular strain of anxiety that comes when we are waiting for a threat that is gliding toward us, its fin visible above the surface.”
In other words, we know something bad is coming. We just don’t know what or when.
To be sure, many are already experiencing the effects of the virus. Financial disaster. Loss of income. Loss of a job. Sickness. Even death. For others, COVID-19 remains a looming threat, an underwater shark moving towards us in the ocean, unseen but real.
How does God encourage his people during times like these? He points us to who he is and what he has promised.
He reminds us that he is sovereign.
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (Genesis 50:20, ESV)
He reminds us that he is good.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29–31, ESV)
He reminds us that he is all-wise.
“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:33–36, ESV)
He reminds us of the gospel.
“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32, ESV)
He reminds us that the glory to come far exceeds our trials.
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17–18, ESV)
If we want to experience the security of God’s faithfulness in the midst of uncertainty and impending trials, we won’t find it by endlessly checking Facebook, CNN, the Internet, and blogs. We will fix our minds and hearts on what is true about God.
Singing is one of the ways God has given us to remember these realities. It enables the word of Christ to dwell in us richly (Col. 3:16).
So I want to recommend a number of songs that contain these truths. These are primarily songs we sing at my home church, Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville. My good friend Matt Merker put together another helpful list here.
As you listen to and sing these songs, may you be freshly reminded that “neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38–39, ESV)
You can listen to all of these at this Spotify playlist. All songs are from Sovereign Grace Music unless otherwise noted.
- A Christian’s Daily Prayer
- All Creatures of Our God and King
- All Must Be Well – Indelible Grace
- All My Ways Are Known to You – CityAlight
- All Praise to Him
- Ancient of Days – CityAlight
- Behold Our God
- Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor – Matt Boswell & Matt Papa
- God is For Us – CityAlight
- Christ is Mine Forevermore – CityAlight
- Christ My Glory
- God is Good – The Modern Post
- God Moves
- Great is Thy Faithfulness – Public Domain
- He Will Hold Me Fast – Matt Merker
- How Firm a Foundation – Public Domain
- How Vast the Love
- I Have a Shelter
- I Will Glory in My Redeemer
- In Christ Alone – Getty Music
- Is He Worthy? – Andrew Peterson
- It is Well – Public Domain
- Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken – Indelible Grace
- My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness – Getty Music
- My Redeemer’s Love
- O Lord, My Rock and My Redeemer
- Oh, the Deep, Deep Love
- Our Great God – Mac Powell/Fernando Ortega
- Our Song From Age to Age
- Praise to the Lord, the Almighty – Public Domain
- Rejoice – The Modern Post
- The Father’s Love
- The Goodness of Jesus – CityAlight
- The Lord is My Salvation – Getty Music
- The Solid Rock (My Hope is Built) – Public Domain
- Turn Your Eyes
- We Look to You
- When We See Your Face
- Yet Not I, But Through Christ in Me – CityAlight
All I Have Is Christ – Sovereign Grace Music
Thank you so much for this encouragement.
God richly bless you people.
Would be nice to have permission for the next several weeks to record and broadcast these songs to our congregation. We do not have the special license required from CCLI to record our worship team and put it online. We are doing a service of all public domain music so we can reach our congregation this week, but that limits what we can do.
Jeff, we’ve given churches permission through the end of May to stream our songs for free.
Thank you so much for this gracious permission to stream Sovereign Grace songs during this time! Is there an “official” statement that you can direct us to? Also, do you know of other Christian musicians who are giving similar permissions?
Habakkuk 3:19 ESV: GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.
Darren, I’m working on a blog post regarding this. Thanks for asking. IN the mean time you can look here: https://www.facebook.com/SovereignGraceMusic/posts/10158833588464305
Bob thanks for sharing this list. I also like when trials come by Getty’s. As I thought about it these songs minister to us in times of trial but we must not forget to think eternally. That’s why I like to sing songs like we will feast in the house of Zion (Sandra McCracken) as well. As always, thanks for your ministry and prayers.
Thanks for sharing a list of songs to sing during times like this. Indeed, it’s only in God where we can find peace, healing and assurance. With Him, we’ll overcome this pandemic!
Hi Bob, I’ve just stumbled on your page. A very generous offer about your songs. I Zoom (with live streaming and recording) a weekly service in the UK and would like to use your stuff please. is your offer still open – and, if so, where can I find the videos? Thanks and blessings
Lawrie, great to hear from you. Yes the offer is still open and the videos are on our YouTube page.