It's the week before the 2016 presidential election but let's pretend it's not happening. Instead, if you happen to find yourself reading this article, please take a few moments to stop what you're doing, click play on the tracks below, and take in some beauty, truth, and goodness. I have curated a play list worthy of your consideration. May they work their way into your soul, embed themselves into your mind, and stir your strength into edifying action.
Today's list (Part 2 of 3):
Songs of Hope & Peace
When the whole earth is shifting beneath our feet, when everything around us seems to be crumbling, we desperately need a sure foundation on which to stand and a refuge from the chaos. These are songs that root us in the hope of Christ, of finding peace in him through times of trouble. Allow yourself to rest in these songs, but even more than that, allow yourself to rest in God our Savior in whom all things were made and in whom we live and move and have our being. Featuring the songs of Switchfoot, Rich Mullins, Phil Keaggy, Newsboys, Matt Redman, Delirious?, and Fernando Ortega.
Living is Simple—Switchfoot
Living is simple. Living is dying. We all have our choices. We've chosen today and choices remain. Pascal said "All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone." Something about this song causes me to want to rest, to not be so focused on what my efforts can bring forth. To give over to a greater will, to the One who numbers the stars. Living is simple. All will be made well, will be made well.
Nothing is Beyond You—Rich Mullins
The vastness of God meets our fragile limitations. God is transcendently beyond us and yet for this very same reason intimately present with us. God's love transcends all. Taken from Psalm 42, 93 and 139, 1st Corinithians 15, 2nd Corinthians 5, and Revelation 1 and 22.
True Believers—Phil Keaggy
"The true believers...stand on every word you say. The true believers...made alive in Christ today."
Take courage. Take refuge in Christ. Over the years this song has become a cherished prayer and a word of encouragement. I'll sing it to myself for days on end. I hope it will become something special to you as well.
This song makes me happy. It makes me smile. It's a simple presentation of the Good News, in both word and melody.
Breathing the Breath—Matt Redman
"We are breathing the breath that you gave us to breathe...to worship you, to worship you."
"For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen." —Romans 11: 38
Did You Feel The Mountains Tremble?—Delirious?
To trust in God means to believe that God is ultimately in control of it all. Of the cosmos, of our world, and of human history. To believe that through Jesus Christ God has conquering sin and death and is bringing new life to the world, means to also believe that all of history was shaken by his work on the cross. This song attempts to capture in musical form just a glimpse of the world shaking, of that tremor that will reverberate throughout eternity.
"And we can see that God you're moving, a mighty river through the nations..."
Grace and Peace—Fernando Ortega
A simple greeting from Paul to the churches he wrote to turned into a prayer of blessing sung over us all. Grace and peace to you all from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I pray it over you. If you would, please pray it over me as well.