Allow the truth of the gospel sung with emotion, passion, and anointing to do deep heart surgery on you.
A friend of mine recently attended a new church for the first time and noticed something which thrilled me as I later heard it described. My friend recognized a fresh focus there on our relationship with Jesus and the gospel there.
This was what they felt they needed, and it really did them good. There are some tough things going on for them at the moment that made it all the more precious and necessary.
Perhaps you are also going through a really difficult time right now. I don’t want to sound trite, or to minimise your pain, but it is only in the GOSPEL that real hope can be found.
It’s no secret to regular readers of my blog that I have been facing my own health challenges over the last few months. At times, to be honest, I have almost lost hope, which is perhaps a bit ironic as I wrote a book called Hope Reborn. It is only the message of that book which has kept me going, because it is also the basic message of the Bible: a God who loves us and saves us!
Actually one of my convictions in writing Hope Reborn was that we must ALL keep coming back to the simple gospel, the genuine hope held out by it, and our heartfelt response to it.
I’ve re-read some of the chapters of my own book lately and found that has helped me fan back into flame the hope that I have never actually lost. You may want to do the same, whether you have become a bit complacent about the incredible good news of the gospel, or whether on the other end of the spectrum you are facing storms that feel like they could bring your whole life crashing down. There is only one sure foundation to build our lives on.
It’s not enough to know about the gospel intellectually. Such knowledge will not sustain you in hardship. It also won’t give you the passion and sincerity which John Stott argues was the secret of Billy Graham’s success.
The gospel needs to make the journey from our head to our heart. And draw out both the appropriate emotions, and the appropriate devotion of our grateful hearts back to this God who showed his love to us in sending his son to live, die, and be raised to life for us.
I therefore offer you this collection of songs that each helps me in this way. If you need peace, hope, love, and reconnection emotionally with this glorious gospel you will find it here.
Lift your eyes above your troubles to the face of your beautiful saviour who loves you more than you can imagine. Allow him to draw out your emotions towards him. Recommit to him. Renew your devotion. Allow him to change your heart. Your problems won’t disappear overnight, but I promise you they will take on a new perspective!
Perhaps you are preparing to preach on Easter Sunday, on a day when more people will come to church than usual. Do you feel the weight of that responsibility? I can offer you two books that some preachers have both found useful in preparing for Easter sermons. But, more important than that even is to get your heart in the right place. I offer this playlist as something of a spiritual tonic. It’s a mix of old and new. But every song will take ahold of your heart and work on it with truth.
You can never predict when you will need this hope more than you ever have done so far.
You can listen to this Gospel Centred playlist on Spotify or Apple Music.
These songs have been very helpful to me.
If some of these or other songs stand out to you more than others, I’d encourage you to create a hope-filled playlist of your own.
If I’m missing any songs that have helped YOU in this way, do let me know and I will consider adding them.