Isn’t it amazing how hearing a particular song, one you knew or a new one you may have just heard, whose beat or specific lyrics minister to your heart at the exact time you needed, can change your mood or your life? There is so much power in the effect of music on our lives. Hearing songs can bring back special memories or make you feel happy or calm or motivated. It can make you cry and it can bring such healing to the soul. Music always speaks to me.

As I read through my Bible it is so encouraging to me that God confirms again and again that He has always had music as part of His plan to arm us with strength and fill us with enjoyment. I have heard stories told of people who don’t even believe in God, express how when they play music or get caught up in it, they feel transported to another world, they feel at peace, they feel like they are worshipping although they don’t know what. Music is a language that speaks loudly. It speaks loudly to me.

It was created by God. It is a heavenly language. The Biblical description of heaven gives a very clear picture of glorious music and singing. There are so many stories in the Bible of music being the sound of victory. Music makes me ready for battle and brings victory to me. In the book of Psalms, David speaks of music so often as an offering of praise to God and also as a practise to soothe his weary and hurting heart. Music was a comfort to him. It is a comfort to me. Music was the sound to declare the coming of Christ from heaven to earth as a baby. Music is used as an analogy many times of what creation does for example Job 38:7-8, “the morning starts sang together and all the angels shouted for joy.” We read of Christ rejoicing over us with song in Zephaniah. Music is something God himself does and uses to speak to us. I feel closest to God when I am singing or leading worship.

It is fascinating and no accident how we seem to be born with the ability to differentiate between what sounds like music to our ears and noise. Of course, everyone has a different love for different styles but we still all know what is classified as noise and what is truly music. God was intentional in giving us music. I believe it is one of his best gifts to us.

Music is a language that speaks loudly. It speaks loudly to me.

The Bible is one of the first places I take my practical advice from yet God in His goodness confirms what He wants us to know in our very physical existence in practical ways. There have been many studies on the effects of music. All have proven that there is no doubt that people need music in their lives. Although many studies have not been able to fully explain the total effects of music on people, they have shown that when you like what you are hearing that the brain releases a chemical named dopamine. Dopamine has positive effects on mood. It plays an important role in producing function, motor control, motivation and so much more. Many researchers say music improves our health and wellbeing. We would have to agree that music is a harmless and effective way to help the body and all the other areas of our lives. God knew what He was doing.

In this season that we are all experiencing, there is increased stress, anxiety, relational challenges, a decrease in the way or amount of exercise people do and discomfort in many forms. A lot of studies suggest that some of the most positive and common effects of music is that it reduces stress, decreases anxiety, improves exercise, improves memory, eases pain, provides comfort and improves cognition. These are only some of the lists. There is so much more! We need to be more intentional about using the gift of music to advance our spiritual, emotional, physical and relational health. One story that is confirmation of this truth for me is the story of Saul in 1Samuel 16. He is tormented and he sends a search for someone who plays well and can sing to him. Scripture tells us that whenever David played, he felt better. Saul had a better quality of life because of music.

The New Testament continues to remind us of how important the gift of music is in our lives. Ephesians 5:19 exhorts us in our communication with each other and the Lord, not to leave music out. “…speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.” In Colossians 3:16 we are told, “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” Music is a must for learning, growing and relationship.

I have been watching my sons go back to practising their instruments and my heart is very glad. I have quietly sat back and observed them listening to different styles of music as a way to decrease boredom, to relax them and to increase joy in their own lives. It works! The bonus is them trying to play them. I have been a recipient of positive energy it has created in them. Together we have danced and sang at the top of our lungs and then laughed hard. Music has added to the strength of our emotions, our minds, our bodies and relationships, especially during challenging times and this time is no different.

You want to keep growing. Let the music play. You want to keep going. Let the music play. You want to keep living. Let the music play.