The Power in Singing
Music was God’s idea. He invented it and gave it to us as a common grace for all. You might be surprised to know that the Bible has more than 400 references to singing and includes 50 direct commands to sing – not suggestions, but commands. From God’s perspective, singing isn’t optional. It’s an activity all God’s people should do, both alone and together. Perhaps that is because God knows the many benefits we can enjoy from singing. “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day” (Psalm 96:1-2). In these two verses alone, we are told three times to sing to the Lord. Think about all the people in the Bible who used song to express their love to God and overcome obstacles. In Acts 16, we read about how Paul and Silas were imprisoned in a dark, dank Roman dungeon in the city of Philippi as they awaited judgment. The chains they wore were firmly attached to a wall. There was no way of escape, and little hope for release. At midnight, what did Paul and Silas start doing? Complain and gripe to God? Become overwhelmed with despair and anxiety? No, Paul and Silas started singing praises to God. They broke the silence in the dirty dungeon with songs of praise. And then their chains fell off. Paul and Silas arose and left the cell. When King Jehoshaphat faced a formidable foe, there was little hope he would win. How did he decide to fight the battle? He commanded that his army be led by the singers (2 Chronicles 20:21). Do you know what happened? The enemy fled. The Israelites then collected the multiple spoils left behind. There is something extraordinarily powerful and beneficial in singing. When we sing corporately, together we replace our anxious thoughts with God’s peace. Perhaps this is the worship time together that we are not to forsake (Hebrews 10:25). Especially when you’re anxious, sing! When you don’t understand, sing! When life is a mystery, sing! Outloud. In your car. At home. There is great spiritual power in singing! The darkness flees. And so will your anxiety.