When radio was in it’s prime, I spent summer days as a teenager hanging out on my back deck with friends listening to music. Except for all request lunch hours, you could guess which dozens songs were played on an hourly loop until the next set of singles were released. The only thing comparable from this era that remains today is Delilah Radio. One of the few DJ’s to survive advances in technology, Delilah’s nightly show plays songs to get it’s listeners through the storms of life.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you,” Deuteronomy 31:6.
Like the various genres that exist, my tastes in music has evolved over time. Early on, I turned to songs from Air Supply, Chicago and REO Speedwagon to get me through trying times. Unfortunately, some of these songs made me more depressed, especially ballads by Chicago. Thus, I began searching for something more meaningful. Lyrics with encouraging, positive and uplifting messages. My good friend Mindy introduced me to a new sound, inviting me to my first Christian concert. My swim coach Ken Horne who also served as the Fellowship of Christian Athlete’s school huddle leader, furthered my knowledge of this brand of wholesome music.
And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” – Matthew 8:23-27
These two individual inspired a life long quest to uncover hidden gems. This lead me to discover a huge Christian warehouse where I could listen to music before buying it. Meanwhile, Jackie, the former owner of the Sonshine House was my guide to find my favorite songs played a new local Christian station. When I didn’t have anyone to ask, I developed a successful system based upon album covers. Those artists who spent a little extra money on design and graphics usually produced solid tunes. Sure, I bought plenty of duds void of any decent songs, yet I pressed on to share my passion with others.
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., 1 Samuel 16:23.
On this journey, I came across Christians who practiced legalism, referring to any secular form of music as being inspired by the Devil. Years later I read a quote from Wes King in an article on the difference between Christian and secular music. King’s opinion struck a cord with me that I have adopted. “There are two types of music, that which glorifies God and those that glorify self.” Depending upon your preference, you need to make sure you don’t get caught up judging the opposing side. Rather, it’s best to seek and tell others about those songs which help you overcome the storms in life. Below is a list of artists and topics that have helped me endure various hardships in life.
Coping with Suicide: For Annie by Petra
Finding New Life: The Lost Get Found (remix) by Britt Nicole
Holding on to Hope: The Anchor Holds by Ray Boltz
Loneliness: He Won’t Let You Go by The Kry
Perseverance: For Those Who Wait by Firefight
Starting Over: Back to the Start by Esterlyn
Struggling with Integrity: Get it Right by Silverline
Struggling with Problems in Life: Therapy by Reliant K
The Fullness of God: The Love of Christ by Wes King
Overcoming Failure: Perfect Love by David & the Giants
When You’re About to Quit: Six Candles by FM Static
When You’re Losing Faith: Faith Like That by Jonah 33
by Jay Mankus