A Reason to Sing: His Mercy Shall Follow

I love to sing. And as a music director, one of my greatest joys is hearing God’s people sing boldly in worship. Lately, however, with the unwelcome circumstances that surround the world, my singing has turned to grumbles, frustration, and quiet, tearful prayers. Recently I had Spotify playing, and the song Reason to Sing by All Sons and Daughters began. I had heard this song before, but it caused me to pause this time: 

When the pieces seem too shattered, to gather off the floor, and all that seems to matter is that I don’t feel you anymore. No I don’t feel you anymore.
I need a reason to sing
I need a reason to sing
I need to know that You’re still holding
The whole world in Your hands
I need a reason to sing when I’m overcome by fear, and I hate everything I know. If this waiting lasts forever, I’m afraid I might let go, I’m afraid I might let go. I need a reason to sing.[1]

The lyrics gave voice to my own emotions in a powerful way. Yes, I needed to be reminded of the reasons to sing to my Father, rather than bowing my head to despair and annoyance. During the long days of homeschooling our kids and otherwise caring for our families, what is our reason for giving thanks and praise? What is the reason to sing?

Of course there are many reasons to sing to our God, and godly leaders are reminding us of the precious reasons to give thanks. For several days, I asked the Lord to work in my heart – to impress on me the reasons to sing.

When I can’t sleep at night, I recite Psalm 23 where we see the Lord, the Creator of the universe, as our shepherd and our friend. During one of these restless nights, I recited the psalm, and was drawn to the end. David’s well-known words represent my primary to sing: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

We Sing Because of His Mercy

The word mercy in this verse can also mean “steadfast love.” God’s steadfast, unchanging, unrelenting love will follow us from the moment we open our eyes to the moment we lay our head down in the evenings—and every moment in between. When despair seeps in, making us feel numb to the presence of Jesus, His mercy does not disappear because our confidence wanes. His steadfast love does not cease. No matter what.

This is mercy. This is a reason to sing.

Mercy accompanied by goodness paints a picture of a committed and dependable relationship. Think of that person you can count on no matter what, that faithful person who is there for you when you need a shoulder to cry on or a friend to laugh with. In this psalm, we see God, our shepherd and friend, in this same light. But He far exceeds even the most dependable relationship.

He who is mercy and goodness follows us. This is not a trudging far behind or a peeking around the corner every so often, but it’s a vigorous pursuit because of unrelenting love. When we are overcome with fear, or when we hate the demands of our circumstances, He does not watch our pain from a distance, but He passionately chases us with His goodness and mercy and does not stop until we surrender into His loving embrace.

This is mercy. This is a reason to sing.

Psalm 145:8 echoes these same truths acknowledging that the Lord is “gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.” His mercy covers the universe. There is not an inch of our planet that is not enclosed in this steadfast love. He is the merciful King over the whole world, and there is no hardship that will remove our God from His throne. He is never surprised, and He is always good.

This is mercy. This is a reason to sing.

As I sat with my eyes closed soaking in this beautiful song, I was overcome with emotion as I listened to the concluding lyrics:

Oh Lord, will there be a victory? Will You sing it over me now? Oh Lord, your peace is the melody. You sing it over me now.
That is a reason to sing

God is who He says He is, even in the midst of our pain and suffering. In His mercy, we find peace. Our doubts do not turn God away. Our fears will not consume us. The One who gave His life on the cross to bear our sin will never let us go. Jesus is singing over us even now with His tender, merciful love, providing peace in the turmoil.

This is the reason I will continue to sing to my precious Savior. May the voices of believers be heard throughout the world, whether through tears or shouts of joy, as we sing thanks to God for His steadfast love and abounding mercy.

[1] All Sons and Daughters, A Reason to Sing, (Colorado Springs: Integrity Music, 2012), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsLhN-RtSTE.

Katie is a writer, teacher, and speaker. She is married to Chris, a PCA pastor at Trinity church in St. Louis, MO, and is a mother to three wonderful kids. Katie works as the Director of Music Ministries and Special Events at Trinity and writes for several Christian ministries and organizations. She received her Master of Arts in Theology from Covenant Seminary in St. Louis. More information can be found on her website at www.katiepolski.com

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