If you were to sum up 2020, “fear and despair” would be two obvious word choices. Don’t get me wrong…I have my health, I have my home and my job, and the list goes on. But in general, the pandemic has had the entire world locked away in fear and despair. What are Christians to do in those moments? That is definitely not where God intends us to stay! These songs will help move us in the right direction.
1. God Will Take Care of You (Be Not Dismayed Whate’er Betide)
As I began scrolling through my list of songs and asking what to do during times of fear and despair, this was the first one to jump off the page at me. Those of you who have read my blog regularly know that it annoys me when we change song titles from what the composer originally intended by using the first line of the song instead. Many of our hymnals title this song “Be Not Dismayed Whate’er Betide.” How much more comforting is it to hear the answer to that question in the title instead? No doubt that is the message that Civilla Martin was trying to drive home, as you sing the phrase 20 times when sung with all four verses!
2. I Know Who Holds Tomorrow
Songs that help us in our time of fear and despair likely were born out of times of fear and despair. Such is the case with this song. Ira Stanphill served God as youth director, music director and pastor. So you can imagine his devastation when his wife decided that ministry was not for her and left him. He wrote this song while driving in his car and thinking about his future.
3. He Knows Just What I Need
It’s a shame I can’t find more info on this song or what the story behind it was. Mosie Lister just passed away in 2015, so he was certainly around to ask for many years after this song became famous. Regardless, it is likely he was writing what he needed to hear at the time–a reminder that Jesus knows exactly what we need in our times of fear and despair.
4. A Shield About Me
A shield is something we don’t associate with much anymore. Long gone are the days of soldiers fighting with a sword and shield in battle. But we use other things for shields. Our houses serve as a shield from weather and storms. Sunglasses shield our eyes from the sun. Even the masks that we’re currently wearing are shielding us from potential illness. But what better shield from fear and despair is there than God?
5. Surround Us, Lord
What do you feel when you are surrounded by mountains? Typically we are awe inspired. We are reminded of the beauty of nature, and may even be reminded of how small we are in comparison. Likewise, when we are in the presence of the Lord, it’s hard to feel fear and despair. Instead, we are reminded of His love and protection.
6. Rescue Me
In Psalm 17, David is praying to God about his own fear and despair. He asks God to rescue him, to protect him, and to strike down his enemies. This song is a contemporary setting of that Psalm.
7. Had It Not Been the Lord
Sometimes the best reassurance that God is with us in times of fear and despair is to look back and see how He has been with us all along. That’s exactly what David was doing when he wrote Psalm 124. I love this beautiful setting of that Psalm.
8. My God is Singing Over Me
What a comfort it is in our times of fear and despair to remember that “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).
ORDER OF WORSHIP
God Will Take Care of You (1,2,3)
I Know Who Holds Tomorrow (c,1,c)
He Knows Just What I Need (1,2,3)
A Shield About Me
Surround Us, Lord
SCRIPTURE READING – 1 Peter 5:6-11 (ESV)
Had It Not Been the Lord
My God is Singing Over Me