Songs that bring comfort and hope in suffering

Music is one of the gifts God has given his people to help us during times of suffering.  Songs do not have to specifically address pain or hardship to be helpful during suffering, songs that remind us of God’s power, faithfulness, grace, and the death and resurrection of Jesus (such as these Songs by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend ) are helpful at any time. Many of the Psalms address the very real pain of suffering, and find hope and strength in God.  Below are verses from some of my favourite songs about trusting God through difficult times . If you know other songs you’ve found helpful, feel free to share them in the comments below:

1. Bob Kauflin wrote this song based on the famous Valley of Vision prayer:

When You lead me to the valley of vision
I can see You in the heights
And though my humbling wouldn’t be my decision
It’s here Your glory shines so bright
So let me learn that the cross precedes the crown
To be low is to be high
That the valley’s where You make me more like Christ

(To read the full ‘In the Valley’ song and listen to a sample click here )

2. Rob Smith wrote this when his father was dying of cancer:

1. I will trust you in the darkness
I will serve you in my pain
I will worship in the wilderness
And will follow to the end
For you are the suffering shepherd
And you know your sheep by name
So I will trust you in the darkness
— once again

(To read/listen to the full song  click here )

3. ‘As long as you are glorified’ by Mark Altrogge, from the Come_Weary_Saints album. Lyrics and words for the full song are on the clip below.

Shall I take from Your hand Your blessings
Yet not welcome any pain
Shall I thank You for days of sunshine
Yet grumble in days of rain
Shall I love You in times of plenty
Then leave You in days of drought
Shall I trust when I reap a harvest
But when winter winds blow, then doubt
Oh let Your will be done in me
In Your love I will abide
Oh I long for nothing else as long
As You are glorified

4. Mark Altrogge revised this hymn with the encouragement of his daughter:

Whatever my God ordains is right
In his love I am abiding
I will be still in all he does
And follow where he is guiding
He is my God; though dark my road
He holds me that I shall not fall
And so to him I leave it all.

(To read the full song and the story behind it, click here )

5. William Cowper experienced great suffering during his life (see here). His hymn ‘God moves in a mysterious way’ has various modern versions, including Bob Kauflin , David Ward and Jeremy Riddle. I especially appreciate the final verses:
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

6. Horatio Spafford, experienced great grief and sorrow (see clip below), at one point of great sorrow he wrote these words, which eventually became the hymn ‘It is well with my soul’ :

When sorrows like sea billows roll,
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say;
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

7. Matt Redman, wrote ‘Blessed be your name based on Job’s words after experiencing a series of devastating losses: “the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” ( Job 1:21). See a video of the song using real life stories  here or view the lyrics on the clip below:

8. Nathan Tasker shares the lyrics of a song he wrote shortly after losing twins born prematurely.
(Songs 1,3, and 4 posted with permission from Sovereign Grace Music)
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6 responses to “Songs that bring comfort and hope in suffering

  1. Pingback: Death of a child, stillbirth and miscarriage | Transforming Grace

  2. Pingback: Trusting God in suffering | Transforming Grace

  3. Pingback: Thankfulness in difficult circumstances | Grace Transforms

  4. Another one, one of my favourite laments, is “Psalm 143” by Nicky Chiswell ‘Let the morning bring me word…’

  5. “Psalm 143” is on ‘Let All Creation Sing’ (Emu music)

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