MM: Music Mends the Heart


As emotional beings, we can swing quickly from a place of strength down to a lull of discouragement. Fighting temptation is a daily struggle, and fleshly emotions often best us when we are weak or unguarded.

Thankfully, God has equipped us with many spiritual disciplines to draw us back to His channels of grace. For example, prayer is a cry to God for His strength to fill us. Or the Scriptures can be an offensive spiritual weapon in battling the offenses of this world. But God granted us the gift of singing to lift our spiritual morale in such a way that gives life to our dead souls. As a reminder, Tim Keller tells us that it has the ability to reach the heart in effective ways for Christ:

“Singing engages the whole being—the heart through the music as well as the mind through the words.” (Tim Keller)

The mind and the heart are connected. As we sing Scriptural truths and good theology, the mind is flooded with divine/biblical thoughts that ground our wayward feelings when they stray. Sanctified music has the ability to revive the soul that feels downcast by life and can refresh the heart that feels as dry as a desert. Singing the Gospel truths of biblical theology can bring the spiritually dead back to life. Paul Tautges says,

“Music marks the significant moments in life —times of joy and sorrow —and plays an important role in many of life’s celebrations. But nothing matches its ability to touch the deepest parts of our inner person and provide spiritual and mental refreshment in the midst of our grief and pain. The most vivid biblical example of the power of music to minister to the inner man is the effect that David’s music had on King Saul. In 1 Samuel 16: 23, we read, “Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.” The music itself ministered to the king, helping him in his pain and causing him to feel refreshed. Spiritual songs and great hymns of the faith, which wed biblical truths to memorable melodies, are powerful refreshment to the soul. Music makes the promises of God resonate in people’s souls in a unique and beautiful way.” (Paul Tautges, Comfort the Grieving).

Music is the forgotten spiritual discipline. Fasting, Scripture meditation, and fellowship with the saints all have its place in the Christian life, but we must never forget that singing has its place too.

You can sing at home without music or any lyrics. You can sing even if you can’t hold a key. You can sing with your family, and with the congregation that you have committed to. You can sing in your car on the way to work and on the way home. You can sing in the time of temptation, when your sinful impulses feel strong. You can sing at the hospital bed next to a loved one fighting for his life. And you can sing in your heart, at the end of your days, when your voice is gone and eternity draws near.

There is power in singing. And God uses the song to mend the heart of His people in their time of need.

Do you feel discouraged today? Sing often, sing regularly. Sing the Word today!

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