Did you know you’re building a hymnal for your life?
It’s filled with lines from books, lyrics from songs, quotes from movies, and a unique assortment of other odds and ends you’ve picked up along the way. All such content filters through the grid of your mind and settles into the deepest places of your heart in a pattern as individual as the swirls on your finger.
That’s great, you think, but don’t hymnals tend to collect dust?
Oh, not these. These hymnals are some of the most effective and compelling weapons in our arsenal against the dark. We tend to wander away from truth in moments that are sad or confusing or hard or boring, and we must continually crack open those pages and sing our hearts back home.
Just as many hymnals are organized by topic, so our personal collections vary depending on the issue at hand. Lyrics that are perfect for one situation may not help much in others, so we must constantly be on the lookout for new material to incorporate.
In case your hymnal could use some beefing up, consider this smattering of gospel lyrics for three common scenarios:
For the tired heart
- The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.
- ‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.
- You were never meant to carry this weight farther than the cross.
- I don’t have to do all things well—Someone already has that job.
- Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
- The work that matters most has already been perfectly accomplished on my behalf: It. is. finished.
- Be still and know that I am God.
- You can be free from the weight of others’ opinions of you.
- My worth is not found in my capacity.
- I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
For the shamed heart
- I have nothing to fear, nothing to prove, nothing to hide, and nothing to lose.
- The gospel looks most radiant in my imperfections.
- God is a safe place to acknowledge my failings.
- Wherever I’m caught, I’m covered.
- There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
- I have the Father’s smile.
- Nothing I can do will make God love me any more, and nothing I can do will make God love me any less.
- Failure shouldn’t be such a shock to my system: I’ll be a justified sinner until the day I die.
- Jesus fights the lies for me and says…
- No guilt in life, no fear in death—this is the power of Christ in me.
- Nothing can thwart God’s good plans; He’s working even in my failings.
- The Lord sees beyond what I’ve done to what I will become.
- My failure is a place of expectation: God will show up as I repent, believe, and love.
- You’ve been forgiven for this. Now you’re just doing the work of repair.
For the sad heart
- Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you.
- Christ is for me in this and with me through it.
- The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
- One day every tear will be wiped away.
- It’s okay to fall apart—underneath me are the everlasting arms.
- God knows how I sound when I’m desperate.
- He’s (still) got the whole world in His hands.
- My wounds matter to the Father; He doesn’t protect Himself from my pain.
- You keep track of all my sorrows and collect all my tears in a bottle.
- This is the closest to hell I will ever get. Hallelujah!
- God can handle my grief.
- Life is short; heaven is long.
- The first embrace from Christ will make this seem like one night in a bad hotel.
- Jesus went through something like this when…
What lyrics would you add to your hymnal?