Sing Through Suffering

  • Dec. 4, 2018
  • #9547

Singing to the Lord during times of suffering heals the heart, gives us strength to persevere, and is a powerful witness to others.  

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with an encouragement to sing!

When people see my wheelchair and ask me how I deal with it, I usually have a very short answer: I sing in it. I’ve always done that. I literally sing my way through suffering. Just the other day I was struggling to breathe – it’s happening more lately now since I'm getting older in my wheelchair. Anyway, I’m having a hard time breathing and so I just started to sing, “You’re the breath in my lungs, and I pour out my praise, pour out my praise.” And then, yesterday when my corset was biting my hip (I wear a tight corset to help me breathe); anyway, it was hurting my hip so bad, and I naturally started singing, “Blessed be Your name On the road marked with suffering, Though there's pain in the offering Blessed be Your name.”

Did the pain go away? Am I able to breathe more easily? Usually not, but I do have courage to go on. I do have strength to persevere. I'm sure it was the same way for Paul and Silas in Acts Chapter 16 when they sat in that lonely jail cell beaten and bruised and awaiting a certain death. They were tired, but what did they do at midnight? They were singing their way through suffering. Were they attempting to evangelize their fellow prisoners? If they were, it worked. Were they attempting to encourage one another? My goodness, I'm sure. But, regardless, in the moment of deep pain and distress they leaned on songs of praise.

There are good, biblical reasons why it’s best to sing when you’re suffering or when someone else might be suffering and you don’t have words, singing might just be the right response. Because first, it’s a command. All over Scripture, the Bible tells us to sing. Psalm 96 says, “Sing to the Lord, and bless His name.” Then, Paul says in Ephesians 5, “Speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.”

These things aren’t suggestions; they are commands. When your heart is troubled, when you know not what to do, when you are beginning to doubt, sing to the Lord whether you want to or not. It lifts the soul like nothing else. Look at the example of Saul and David. The Bible tells us that David played the harp for Saul when the King was in distress. Music honestly soothes troubled hearts.

There’s something powerful about watching someone sing when you know they should be despairing. Just think of how the songs of Paul and Silas penetrated the hardened hearts of those criminals in the jail cell with them, as well as that merciless jailor. Look at all the people set free because of their songs of victory.

I know that my voice is not what it used to be. But that’s okay. The point is, when I'm hurting, I follow the Bible’s command and I sing. There’s nothing like songs of praise to God to heal your heart, as well as the hearts of anyone who happens to be listening. So next time you are struggling, turn it into a song. You’ll be surprised how quickly it becomes a song of victory.

One final thing, don’t forget to visit joniradio.org to get your free foldout of my Christmas artwork. Ask for it soon so that you can tuck it into your Christmas presents – just a special little insert to remind people of the reason for the season. And hey, Christmas is coming soon. So keep singing your way through suffering, perhaps even with a Christmas Carol. Don’t forget to pick up your gift today at joniradio.org.

© Joni and Friends

 

 

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