Witnessing Through Music

In this world of confusion, where songs with immoral words rampage the charts, tempting youngsters to do immoral things and to pump themselves full of unhealthy substances, one may wonder just where we are heading. Everyone seemed so focused on themselves that one can easily feel unloved and unwanted. Suicide is on the increase and nothing seems to be able to stop it. Hope is a word on its way to oblivion. Is there anyone who cares? What is there to live for, anyway?

Inspired no doubt by the sudden death of my brother-in-law, I found myself reflecting on the fact that there are so many who lose loved ones in a similar fashion. I can now relate, first-hand, to the hurt these families go through, to the hopelessness and helplessness that they experience, to the feeling that the world is fast closing in upon them. How can one handle grief when there is no hope?

While at my brother-in-law's funeral, I had plenty of opportunity to mingle among the crowd. As I did so, I observed that everyone was dealing with the situation in their own, unique way. Some were laughing. Emptiness reigned in their heart, and they were trying to deal with the situation the best they could. Others I encountered displayed guilt, embitterment, even rage that they could do nothing to change the situation. It was interesting to note that it was only among one group that I felt complete peace and love, despite the fact that they were mourning the loss of their loved one as well. What was the difference between the last group and the others? Hope! This group knew their Maker, a God who cares, a God who stands by us in the most troubling times of our life!

The sister of my brother-in-law's first wife was among this latter group. During the memorial service she had sung a powerful testimony called "God's Here", at the end of which not one eye was left dry. As her words reached the crowd, it was obvious that a simple song had promoted hope among the mourners.

Before leaving the reception, I asked her to send me a copy of her CD. I received it a couple of weeks later, and to my delight, I discovered that it was filled with inspiring, hope-filled songs. One, especially, would bring me the comfort I needed to heal from the unexpected loss of one who had been one of my best friends. The song was entitled: "The Way, the Truth, the Life", and when I was alone in the car, I would sing along with this song at the top of my lungs, little caring that tears were streaming down my face. God, by His Spirit used this song to give me much needed comfort, and as a result, the One who really IS the Way, the Truth, and the Life brought me hope. I was able to let go of my grief and hand it completely over to the One who really cares. I had peace that my brother-in-law couldn't be in better hands.

Songs are a powerful way to reach out to the hopeless. They can become mighty witnessing tools for spreading hope in this dark world. The famous preacher Dwight Moody firmly believed in dividing his outreach program evenly between preaching and singing praises to the Lord. He realized that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, many come to accept Jesus through the power of music. One of Dwight Moody's favorite song-writes was Fanny Crosby. Many people attribute their salvation to the words of her songs. A simple song filled with words of hope from above is powerful!

Just last week, during the worship service at my church, I witnessed another example of how a simple song can bring such powerful change. It was beautiful to see. Teenagers were standing up, singing at the top of their lungs, waving beautiful colored banners to God's glory, tears streaming down their faces. They were focused not on the singer, not on the musicians on the platform, but on the One up high. They became so excited that several of them started to dance.

It was at this point that my attention was drawn to a small boy on the side. He must have been no more than 4 years old, and because he was standing in the shadows, no one noticed him. He was on his knees, hands folded up in prayer, as he sang to the glory of God. I couldn't hear his voice from where I was, but Jesus sure did. His eyes were closed as tears streamed down his face. I knew without a doubt that he was in touch with his Lord and Maker.

It is also amazing how powerful a praise song can be against the feeling of discouragement and depression, against that "sinking" feeling we often get when in the midst of negative circumstances. Of course, this is usually the time when you feel the LEAST like praising God, but if you force yourself to do so, singing praises will lift you up and bring you proper perspective on you situation.

So what should you do when walls are tumbling down all around you? Sing at the top of your lungs, praise God and experience the reverse of Jericho's miracle (see Josh 6: 15-21). Those walls will be restored! There is hope for the hopeless! There is Someone who cares!

It is sad to see that so many don't know and don't care about the One who made it possible for us to spend eternity with Him. They don't know that hope is only attainable through Jesus. After all, who would YOU prefer to put YOUR hope in? A politician? Name one who is truly trustworthy! What about a professor, teacher or medic? Yes they can make a difference wherever they are, but are they always available to personally give you the help you need? Unfortunately, they aren't. How about a friend? Friends lead their own lives too, and it's unfortunate, but it's possible that you might end up outside their lives. The only One who is always there for you, no matter what the circumstances, is the One who is rejected by most. Is it little wonder that hope has disappeared in our world?

Jesus promised: "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matt 28:20 NIV) You can be assured that when you come to Him, you will have hope, peace and rest: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matt 11:28 NIV) His biggest desire is for you to get to know Him. "How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!" (Luke 13:34 NIV) Will you let Him into your life now? Accept His call and be filled with hope. Only Jesus can bring complete assurance, because, as He Himself says, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6 NIV) Invite Him into your heart now. He will welcome you with open arms. Http://www.answers2prayer.org/saviours_call.html

And for those of you who already know the Lord, don't forget how powerful praise songs can be! The next time your heart is hurting for whatever reason, pop in a Christian CD. Meditate on the words! Sing along at the top of your lungs! Dance! Cry! Experience God's healing power through that song. I can guarantee you won't remain feeling depressed or hopeless for long. Let's remember to: "Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed." (1 Peter 1:13 NIV)

Rob Chaffart

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