Five Hymns to Cheer Your Fainting Soul

A while ago we did twenty hymns you should know and teach your children (

I want to do another list about hymns to sing when we are fainting, weary, or sad. God designed singing to rescue the soul from the abyss and darkness.

Martin Luther explains it like this: Music is a fair and lovely gift of God which has often wakened and moved me to the joy of preaching . . . Music drives away the Devil and makes people happy . . . Next after theology I give to music the highest place and the greatest honor. I would not change what little I know of music for something great. Experience proves that next to the Word of God only music deserves to be extolled as the mistress and governess of the feelings of the human heart. We know that to the devils music is distasteful and insufferable. My heart bubbles up and overflows in response to music, which has so often refreshed me and delivered me from dire plagues (Here I Stand, p. 266).

The following newer hymns all have encouraging, soul-strengthening truths. The combination of moving melodies and powerful truth is what moves the soul. God uses songs filled with glorious truths to lift the soul out of the slough of despond. These are ones I listen to again and again. During corporate worship we do not linger. But in our private devotions we can linger, ponder the words, and listen again. That is what I do with these songs.

(I will take five today and try to do the next five next week.)

In Christ Alone


This is perhaps the best know, most loved new hymns in the last 25 years and has become a modern classic. Keith Getty and Stuart Townsend wrote it in 2001. It is one of my favorites and I never get tired of singing it. When the Gettys were at our church in 2016, singing it with Keith and Kristyn Getty was one of the highlights of the night.

Each stanza is a powerful testimony to the truth of the Gospel. The first and last stanza are experiential (the Gospel applied), the second and third are historical and objective (the truth of the Gospel). The first stanza is the believer’s comfort in Christ, the last stanza is the believer’s is the believer’s confidence and assurance in Christ. Stanza two is about the incarnation and the cross. Stanza three, which builds so powerfully, is about the resurrection. It is a masterpiece of praise based on one of the great phrases of all time, “In Christ Alone.”

Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery


Matt Boswell and Matt Papas are two modern hymn writers who have excellent music and rock-solid theology. This is one of the finest new hymns that celebrates the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus. It is filled with words that thrill the soul, Christ the true and better Adam, fulfilling the law, hanging on the cross in victory. I listen to this repeatedly on Lord’s Day mornings as I prepare my heart for the day.

He Will Hold Me Fast

Norton Hall Band from Southern Seminary,

Shane and Shane version,

This song, by Ada Habershon and Matt Merker, is a bold declaration that indeed God will keep us all the way to the end. The song is a confession of our own weakness. It honestly confesses our fears, our helplessness, and even coldness. It banks all our hope in the Christ’s love for us, His promise, and His saving work. The keeping work of the Savior is celebrated,

He’ll not let my soul be lost; His promises shall last;
Bought by Him at such a cost, He will hold me fast.

I cannot but help to feel a surge of ultimate triumph in that moment when we sing the last two lines of the last verse:

For my life He bled and died, Christ will hold me fast;
Justice has been satisfied; He will hold me fast.
Raised with Him to endless life, He will hold me fast
‘Till our faith is turned to sight, When He comes at last!

Come quickly Lord Jesus!

Now Why This Fear and Unbelief


This is a Sovereign Grace update of an old Augustus Toplady  (1740–1778) hymn. As with many SG updates, it takes Toplady’s powerful theology (as they did with A Debtor of Mercy). The hymn fixes the worshiper on Christ’s finished work as the basis of his assurance.

          Be still my soul and know this peace

The merits of your great high priest

Have bought your liberty

Rely then on His precious blood

Don’t fear your banishment from God

Since Jesus sets you free

The rousing chorus helps us linger on this truth:

          Jesus, all my trust is in Your blood Jesus,

You’ve rescued us Through Your great love

How sweet the sound of saving grace

How sweet the sound of saving grace

Christ died for me

Oh Lord My Rock and Redeemer


This marvelous hymn is from my favorite Sovereign Grace CD to date, “The Prayers of the Saints Live.” This song is a wonderful example of stirring music and solid theology, combined together to draw the worshiper into praise. It is sung directly to the Lord Jesus. It is filled with hope for the future, because of confidence in what God has done for us in Christ in the past.

O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer
Gracious Savior of my ruined life
My guilt and cross laid on Your shoulders
In my place You suffered bled and died
You rose, the grave and death are conquered
You broke my bonds of sin and shame
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer
May all my days bring glory to Your Name

The last four lines are sung with triumph in Christ. We repeat those lines in order to linger over Christ’s victory and our redemption.

We will take up five more next week. I hope these songs will help you today. Tomorrow we will sing a couple of them! Come ready to worship in Spirit and truth.