In these troubled times, there are 25 amazing and relevant hymns to sing.
The Preacher of Ecclesiastes tells us, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. . . . A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance . . . a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing” (Ecc 3:1, 4, 5).
In a time of uncertainty, what should we sing?
As the globe responds to the pandemic, Christ invites his people, as always, to approach the throne of God with confidence to find help in our time of need (Heb 4:16). The relevant hymns of the faith, both ancient and modern, offer us a vocabulary for expressing our fears, anxieties, and questions to the One who hears.
Many churches have decided to cancel their gatherings out of concern for those most vulnerable to the virus. These are exceptional times. There’s no substitute for meeting with God’s people in the local church and letting the Word dwell in us richly as we sing (Col 3:16). Yet, though many believers may be temporarily separated, this isn’t a time to stay silent. Now, as ever, the Christian sings.
So, through these hymns, lay your burdens at Christ’s feet. Praise the Lord of history who holds all things—disease, life, and death—in his hands. Ask for his help in a season of waiting. Lament and grieve the tragic effects of the fall. And herald the good news that through Christ’s death and resurrection, he has given us an unshakeable hope.
Here are 25 relevant hymns to sing in trying times.
Though there’s a ton of relevant Christian music out there, I’ve limited myself to relevant hymns suited for congregational singing, recognizing that many Christians won’t be able to sing with their churches this month. These songs may help soothe the wound of missing out on fellowship. For each song, I’ve selected an excerpt that especially seems to speak to our present situation. Click each title to read the full lyric, and listen to all 25 songs at this Spotify playlist.
Relevant Hymns on God’s Sovereignty, Providence, and Power
“To all, life Thou givest, to both great and small,
In all life Thou livest, the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish–but naught changeth Thee.”
(Walter C. Smith, 1867)
“And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God has willed his truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo! his doom is sure;
One little word shall fell him.”
(Martin Luther, 1529, based on Psalm 46; Translated by Frederick H. Hedge, 1852)