Many people right now – right this moment – are living through hard times. The times that Jesus promised would come. These times are life draining, stressful and seem never ending. Some of you knew this was coming when the doctor confirmed the worst possible diagnosis. Many of you are living out a bad choice that didn’t seem to be a big deal at the time. A few of you are in utter shock over the sudden death of a loved one. God works in mysterious ways and I’m completely overcome with chills when I realize just one reason why God has called a Christian artist to write a song. How many times have you turned on the radio to the song that just speaks to you? For me, that’s “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” by Hillsong United. The song playing right at this moment is not accidental. God’s timing is perfect and He shows us so much grace and love while we walk through calamity.
Here are 11 songs to get you through hard times.
“In Jesus’ Name” by Third Day
The report of the Ebola outbreak rocked the world as the disease spread through Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone and even into the U.S. Doctors from around the world, including Dr. Kent Brantly from Fort Worth, Texas, risked their lives to save others. To say these were hard times is an understatement. God was not absent during the outbreak and is still present while families recover – those who were sick and those who lost their sons, daughters, mothers, fathers and siblings. Devastation like this connects us as we pray for each other and proclaim Jesus’ healing name. “The tired find rest, The sick are healed, The mysteries of our God revealed, And now the truth, Can be proclaimed, All through the power, In Jesus name.”
“Through All Of It” Colton Dixon
People in our country are hurting and wondering why. Why did Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez open fire at military centers in Chattanooga, Tennessee? Why did Dylann Roof walk into the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina and take the lives of nine Christians? Why did a meeting between biker gangs to settle differences end with nine people getting shot? I don’t know the answers, but I know that there is a huge invitation for God to come in and offer peace, healing and love that surpass understanding. “Through All Of It” can bring comfort during these moments of disbelief. “You were there when it all came down on me, And I was blinded by my fear, And I struggled to believe, But in those unclear moments, You were the one keeping me strong, This is how my story’s always gone.”
“The Unmaking” by Nichole Nordeman
Many families have been shattered before they even have the chance to take shape. A husband and wife who have dreamed about becoming parents discover they are expecting. Their dreams are finally coming true. What happens when it’s taken away? When the doctor confirms a miscarriage? What’s next and how in the world will they move on? Life can seem so unfair when you think you’ve done everything right to prepare for a family – you worked hard going through college and then spent years building a career so you could support your some day family. All your hopes and all your dreams for a family gone. Now God is unmaking what you had so you can experience the family He has planned for you. “Before each beginning, There must be an ending, Siting in the rubble, I can see the stars, This is the unmaking, This is the unmaking, The longer and the tighter that we move, Only makes it harder to let go.”
“We Won’t Be Shaken” by Building 429
If you live in the southern states in the U.S. then tornadoes are part of life. They’re not something you forward to, but something you have come to expect through the spring and summer months. We have a bad tornado that touches down and damages seemingly select homes each year in Michigan, but it’s shocking each time because it’s not part of normal Michigan living. This past June, a dairy farm in Decker, Michigan was completely destroyed when a tornado touched down. The entire farm was a loss, but the community surrounded the family and quickly got to work cleaning up and making plans to rebuild. They wouldn’t be shaken and the countless communities in the southern states that go through this annually show incredible strength as they help each other rebuild. “Whatever will come our way, Through fire or pouring rain, We won't be shaken, No we won't be shaken, Whatever tomorrow brings, Together we'll rise and sing, That we won't be shaken, No we won't be shaken.”
“Come As You Are” by Crowder
A child brings a lot of joy, but as they grow up many struggles can set in. Heartache at what you want the relationship to be and what you realize it has become. Many people know this pain. The parents and teens that are at odds with each other. The young woman in her 20’s who hasn’t spoken to her dad in three years. The couple in their mid-40’s who have no idea where their adult son is living. These are hard times when you aren’t sure which way to turn, but you can come as you are and bring the brokenness to Christ. He can mend and redeem the relationship. “Come as you are, Fall in his arms, Come as you are, There’s joy for the morning.”
“Prodigal” by Sidewalk Prophets
Do you feel like the prodigal son or daughter? You became pregnant your senior year of high school and now you are a single parent. You dropped out of college and have felt like you are now drifting along. You moved five states away for the promise of a better future despite all the red flags your parents saw. Cry out to Jesus and surrender where you are now. Go home and admit that you don’t know what path you need to be on. “Wherever you are, Whatever you did, It’s a page in your book, but it isn’t the end, Your Father will meet you with arms open wide, This is where your heart belongs, Come running like a prodigal.”
“Shoulders” by for KING & COUNTRY
Dealing with an illness takes you to a scary place wondering where “normal” went. Days when getting up and making the kids breakfast seems impossible through the aches and pains. Days when you cancel hosting a dinner party because a migraine came instead. Days when you feel so emotionally distant from your spouse because your dreams beyond medical bills are inconceivable. God is with you and He will be your strength when you can’t. “My help comes from You, You’re right here, pulling me through, You carry my weakness, my sickness, my brokenness all on Your shoulders.”
“Save My Life” by Big Daddy Weave
Abby Rike was a contestant on The Biggest Loser and her story is heartbreaking. She was happily married and had just given birth to her second child – a son. One evening, her husband, newborn son and six-year-old daughter left to go to open gym time while she planned to visit the ER because of a fever. She lost her entire family in a car accident during her state of joy over her newly completed family of four. I recall the emotional pain and guilt she expressed during the show. This pain over living when a loved one doesn’t can be crippling. God has a plan for you and someday you will learn the reasons why He still has a plan for you on Earth. “Oh how I need You, See, here’s my broken heart, I lift it up, it’s empty of the foolish pride, I no longer try to hide, Please hear my desperate plea, come and rescue me, Cause I realize tonight, I need You to save my life.”
“Worn” by Tenth Avenue North
Following God’s calling for your life can be daunting. You know He promised you a greater life, but all you see right now are the struggles. You couldn’t pay the rent and your landlord kicked you out as your heart breaks looking at your two sons. God lead you here and times are hard knowing that your hubby just lost his job as the sole bread winner. Now what? God is with you and these struggles are part of molding you, not because you are worthless – far from it. “Let me see redemption win, Let me know the struggle ends, That you can mend a heart, That’s frail and torn, I wanna know a song can rise, From the ashes of a broken life, And all that’s dead inside can be reborn, Cause I’m worn.”
“Where The Light Is” by Dan Bremnes
Sometimes church can seem like your battleground. It’s hard taking biting words from other Christians that show the brokenness of their own lives. Maybe you are pressing on to work with a difficult person who makes the mission of spreading God’s love hard and nearly impossible. Satan goes through the church doors and works hard to take away the joy, but remember who’s really in control. “God come quickly, only You can save me, Will You lead me where the light is, God be with me, don’t know where I’m going, Will You lead me where the light is.”
“Sun Is Rising” by Britt Nicole
Going through a divorce is emotionally draining. It’s losing something far too soon. Maybe you thought divorce was the answer, but it’s painful to realize that the one who vowed to love you forever really only meant conditionally for a handful of years. God feels your pain and can redeem your situation to bring new life and restoration. “Whatever you’re facing, If your heart is breaking, There’s a promise for the ones who just hold on, Lift up your eyes and see, The sun is rising.”
Life is full of moments. Moments that are joyful and ones that are completely heartbreaking and hard. God understands because He experienced people turning their backs on Him. His only son died on the cross. His children have hurt each other and people have messed up their lives living in pride. God gets it and He has a message of hope and comfort in each of the songs above and many others. What do you need prayers for today? Let us know so we can lift you up in prayer.
Listen to a Playlist With All These Awesome Songs
Article by Elise Cleary
I'm a Christian writer and editor residing in northern Michigan and thoroughly enjoy Christian centered music, movies, TV shows and books. A favorite song is "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" by Hillsong United and I find many songs by Matt Maher, Tim Timmons, Third Day, Laura Story, Jeremy Camp and numerous other artists uplifting. A few of my favorite Christian movies include God's Not Dead, The Shunning, Do You Believe and many by the Kendrick brothers. When I'm not writing, I enjoy running, experimenting in the kitchen and spending time with my musically gifted husband and spunky daughter. I am so blessed and in awe of the work God is doing throughout the Christian entertainment industry.