This morning I woke up feeling groggy. After peeling myself out of bed and feeling a bit grumpy with that Monday morning feeling, I put on Christian radio. I heard the song ‘Oh Happy Day’ by the Edwin Hawkins Singers and it transformed my mood. The song is very simple; these lines are repeated over and over again:
‘When Jesus washed
My sins away, yeah
Oh, happy day
Oh, happy day
He taught me how to watch
Fight and pray, fight and pray
And living rejoicing every, everyday’
The joyful tune and repeated words of truth helped remind me that every single day is a happy day. Regardless of how I feel physically or mentally, my status before God as his beloved and forgiven child (John 1:12) doesn’t change. It is because of God’s grace that I have been saved through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). I am saved because Jesus died on the cross for my sins, he took the punishment I deserved and made a way for me to be right before God (Romans 3:21-26). As 1 Corinthians 6:11 puts it: ‘…you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.’
Worship songs like ‘Oh Happy Day’ are really powerful as they help move our focus from how we are feeling to looking at God and thanking him for what he has done for us. When I was chronically ill my mental health was often not good, I used to listen to a lot of Christian radio. It was so helpful to have a constant stream of God focused content including songs, verses and talks. Also I found that the songs played helped me to connect with God because they provided me with words that articulated how I felt.
So my challenge to you today, is to put some worship music on and really think about the words. Ask God to meet with you; as I wrote about last week, God wants us to ‘…abide in his love.’ (John 15:9 ESV) and engaging with worship music is one way to do this.