This article reflects on the blessing of singing, and encourages singing to the Lord in both joy and trouble.

Source: De Wekker. 2 pages. Translated by Irene Hoeksema..

Devout Singing

bird singing

Imagine no one ever singing again.

All over the world, songs are sung: mostly familiar songs, and often also songs which are less familiar. Song festivals are quite popular. But singing is also done in smaller circles.

Not everything is melodious; at times we wonder if it can really be called singing. At any rate, there is no way you could call it devout singing. That involves a whole lot more.


It’s wonderful to sing as a believer by yourself, when no one can hear what you are singing. Some say they don’t have a voice and can’t carry a tune. But they do sing and in heaven it sounds like the singing of angels. Even more beautiful than angels actually, when God hears a saved sinner sing or if a heartfelt prayer for salvation comes from the heart.

When you are completely alone, you are not hindered by what others think of your singing. You sing to your heart’s content, sometimes one song after another. In the car or when you’re home alone, you can do as you please and sing the songs that are totally yours. Especially that which is taken from your heart and that you, at that moment, experience as a prayer for mercy or a song to give thanks.

No one needs to know what is bothering you and what you are expressing in song. Thus, children of God may know places where they sang a psalm or a spiritual song more intensely than at any other time or place. When you pass that same place or street you know what you had experienced there earlier and expressed in a song.

It is indeed a blessing to be allowed and able to sing, even if you don’t have a trained voice.

In Trouble🔗

There are people who become very quiet when they find themselves in difficult situations. No song comes from their lips. In the first place, because they did not sing much to begin with. And also because the situation they’re in doesn’t allow them to sing. It can become very quiet, sometimes awkwardly quiet.

More than once, children of God have testified that, especially in difficult situations, they understood a psalm better than before and could therefore sing it wholeheartedly. And thus experience: You are my strength, my rock and tower, my refuge in the darkest hour. Or: I in my sorrow sigh, Will the Lord spurn us forever and withhold from us his favour?” Or to use the words of another song, “When I said, ‘My feet are slipping,’ then you were at hand for my safekeeping, and in my great anxiety your steadfast love supported me. Whenever I on you would call, your consolation cheered my soul.”

When we sing like that, we will make it through. Even though there are many adversities, even though we go through the valley of the shadow of death—to say it with the words of Psalm 23—in faith we sing ourselves out of it. For it is God who gives a song, even in the night.

As we find it in Psalm 42: “I will sing and pray at night to the God of life and light. He will in his mercy hear me and for evermore be near me.”

At times you witness a dying person singing, almost inaudibly, thereby showing that he sees beyond death and the grave. For our own comfort and encouragement from others who will never forget this devout singing.

What a blessing when songs accompany us till the end of our life on earth, as preparation to eternal singing.

In Joy🔗

It seems easier to sing in prosperity. But whether that can always be called devout singing is questionable. For more often than not it is no more than emotion that seeks an outlet and will the song of thanksgiving soon end. Giving thanks is simply more difficult than praying. Singing songs of thanksgiving, especially when you’re lonely, is quite a task. As a matter of fact, that must be said from the Word of God as well. The Lord calls us to thanksgiving. How often aren’t we called to praise the Lord in the Bible. The book of Psalms alone is full of it.

Boy singing

In happy days a song of praise is fitting to honor the Lord. Sometimes we have to take hold of ourselves and bestir ourselves to truly thank God. Psalm 103 emphasizes this when we read: “Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all his benefits.” We add to this, “Forget them not, it is God who gave them to you.”

You can be so overwhelmed by the grace and blessings of God, that you heartily sing, “What shall I render to my Saviour now for all the riches of his consolation?”

The more we wonder about who God is and what he gives us in his grace, the more intense the song of praise becomes and the more we long to give him the praise. You can do that in your prayers, especially in your walk of life, but no less in the singing of a song of thanks, which we find in abundance in the book of Psalms.

It is delightful while you are young to learn songs that are fitting for times when you are troubled or worried as well as songs that are suitable to be sung in prosperity and joy.

The Lord is so worthy to be called upon.

He even ordered it. We would fail him if we did not sing in days of sorrow and in times of prosperity.

He even made sure that we have a whole book with songs for almost every situation. It is noticeable that no matter what sermon, there are always numerous psalms that are fitting.

On the road, when you are home alone, on vacation or wherever, you can sing for yourself.

There was someone who had accompanied the congregational singing on the organ for years, and who, before he could no longer sing because of his sickness, went to church one more time, without the presence of the congregation, to sing with his still-beautiful voice the whole of Psalm 79. That makes one quiet with wonder and convinces one: if you can sing like that…

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