Published August 28, 2012

Paul's Epistle...
"Encouragement In Song"

Whenever I do a countdown edition on the broadcast (as was the case last weekend), I'm struck by some particular theme that seems to run through many of the songs – songs from a wide variety of artists, songs which might otherwise seem to have nothing else in common.

But whenever this does happen, it's obviously because that theme is something that's struck a chord with a lot of listeners. What struck me this time was the common theme of encouragement for the Christian – and the obvious need for it. The Wilburn & Wilburn song, "Jesus Will," sets the tone...

"Christian, I know you're discouraged.
We're livin' in difficult days.
But even though trouble is stirrin'
There is hope if we just keep the faith."

Those four lines set forth both the problem and the solution — difficult times which we can overcome by faith. How can we do that? By trusting the "Potter's" hands, as sung by the Whisnants in their #1 song, which was inspired by Isaiah 64:8:

"I'll trust the Potter's hands, He knows what's best for me,
He has a perfect plan these human eyes can't see.
He's the Potter, I'm the clay,
He knows just how much I can take.
When I face the fire again I'll trust the Potter's hands."

And we are reassured that God can handle anything that comes against us, because, as the Gordon Jensen song sung by the Mylon Hayes Family says, He is "bigger than any mountain"...

"Bigger than all my problems,
bigger than all my fears;
God is bigger than any mountain that I can or cannot see."

When can and will God help us? "Every Time I Need Him," as the song sung by the Perrys says...

"There are little thoughts for little minds
Sometimes I think I'm that kind
The kind to worry needlessly, I guess.
But Jesus says come unto me
Believe, and you will receive
Lay your burdens down, I'll do the rest."

That's a direct reflection of Jesus' promise in Matthew 11:28: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." 1 Peter 5:7 reminds us to cast "all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."

Christians get into trouble when they forget that great resource that the Lord provides. Is it because we forget? Would we rather tackle problems ourselves (a hopelessly vain conceit)? Or do we, somehow, doubt that the Lord could actually do what He said He would?

The Dunaways' song, "Don't Start Doubting Now," reassures us with the answer to that last question...

"Don't start doubting now.
God's never gonna let you down.
Don't let fear and worry rob you of the joy you've found.
Just look how far you've come, everything God has saved you from.
You're too close to home to turn around, don't start doubting now."

We all need encouragement every day. Much of the Lord's post-resurrection ministry to His followers prior to His ascension was to encourage them by His very presence to believe He was Who He said He was and that He was able to do all that He said He would.

That's why I believe songs such as these, and many other similar songs out there today, play such an important role in reminding us all of God's faithfulness despite our all-too-frequent tendencies toward faithlessness. Listen carefully to the messages in such songs. And be encouraged by this today!

- Paul

Notes: The Top 20 chart we use for our monthly countdown editions is from Singing News magazine's monthly Top 80 chart.
1. "Jesus Will," written by Dianne Wilkinson & Jerry Salley, Christian Taylor Music BMI
2. "I'll Trust The Potter's Hands," written by Sandy Blythe, Jeff Whisnant Music BMI
3. "Bigger Than Any Mountain," written by Gordon Jensen, Brentwood-Benson Pub. ASCAP
4. "Every Time I Need Him," written by Kyla Rowland, Christian Taylor Music BMI
5. "Don't Start Doubting Now," written by Jerry Salley & Dianne Wilkinson.

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