Music has a way of impacting the heart unlike any other medium. Just as majority of the Psalms are psalms of lament, which is a crying out to God, many classic and modern songs are birthed out of grief, uncertainty, doubt, fear, hurt, or a yearning and acknowledgment that things just aren’t right. These are often the songs that people relate to the most, because everyone hurts. And because everyone hurts, everyone needs hope.
Since losing my twin sister, I have hunted for and held on to songs that give hope amidst suffering. I would like to share some of them with you here. You can find all of these on my Spotify playlist, “Reason for Hope.” This is by no means an exhaustive list. I will divide them into the categories of 5 artists, 5 albums, and 15 songs. I will also provide a link to Spotify for each so you can check them out for yourself and be inspired to hope! Seriously, please don’t just read this. Take some time and listen to these. And hope in God.
Andrew Peterson – Just about any song and any album you listen to of Andrew Peterson’s will cause you to hope. He is one of the greatest lyricists and writes with an honest understanding of the brokenness of humanity and the hope of resurrection. Pick any album and any song. To get to know his older stuff, I would recommend the compilation album “After All These Years.”
Jason Gray – Jason Gray is an incredible songwriter. He has multiple whole albums that bring hope to the hurting. Some notable ones to check out are “Order, Disorder, Reorder,” “Where The Light Gets In,” “A Way To See In The Dark,” and “Everything Sad is Coming Untrue.”
Ellie Holcomb – “Red Sea Road” by Ellie Holcomb is at the top of my favorite hope-giving albums. Ellie is an incredible songwriter with an even better voice. She was formerly part of Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, with her husband who is the lead, but has her own solo career now. I thank God that she does, or we would not have this incredibly hopeful album of hers. A recent single of hers worth listening to is “Constellations.”
Ross King – Ross King writes meaningful, biblical music, with many of his songs having the theme of hope amidst suffering. In my playlist of over 200 songs of hope amidst suffering, his songs always hit just right and at just the right time. A notable album of his for hope amidst suffering is “We Know How This Thing Ends.”
The Gray Havens – “She Waits” is one of my favorite albums of all time, and it is FULL of hope. The Gray Havens continually write deep, meaningful music and have an incredibly fresh sound. You will be better and more hope-filled by listening to their whole discography.
Almost every song on this album, from beginning to end will fill you with hope. Some noteworthy songs are “Red Sea Road,” “We’ve Got This Hope,” and “Man of Sorrows.”
This album is simply incredible. It is written from the viewpoint, in a sense, of this broken world that is longing to be renewed. I know you feel that same longing. Some noteworthy songs are “See You Again,” “Gone Are The Days,” “Not Home Yet,” and “Forever.”
Order, Disorder, Reorder – Jason Gray
It is hard to pick a favorite hope amidst suffering album from Jason Gray because he has so many and they are all so good. “Order, Disorder, Reorder” is his most recent album and includes 18 songs. Some noteworthy songs are “Through,” “Remind Me You’re Here,” “Honesty,” “What The Hard Times Taught Me,” “Bring It All,” and “Tethered.”
The Shadow Can’t Have Me – Arthur Alligood
Arthur Alligood is a great songwriter and a Rabbit Room artist (an organization/ministry of Christian creatives started by Andrew Peterson). This album is so raw and real. I absolutely love it. I love it so much and it’s given me so much hope that we had Arthur as one of our musical acts at our first-ever Night of Hope event. Some noteworthy songs are “This is the Way,” “Right Where I Am,” “The Shadow Can’t Have Me,” and “I’m Coming up Out of This Valley.”
Resurrection Letters, Vol. 1 – Andrew Peterson
If you listen to anything by Andrew Peterson, you will be led on a journey to hope in God. Of his many albums, I picked this one because it is all about the resurrection of Jesus. I always say the Christian’s hope is in a person and an event—Jesus and His resurrection. That’s what this album beautifully leads us to—from the cross to the empty tomb and a living Savior. Some noteworthy songs are “His Heart Beats,” “Risen Indeed,” “Maybe Next Year,” and “Is He Worthy?”
I will not provide reasoning for the songs listed here. If you listen to them, and please do, you will understand why they’re here, and you will be filled with hope.
Remind Me You’re Here – Jason Gray
All My Hope – Crowder, Tauren Wells
Light a Candle – Andy Gullahorn
Wake Up, Jesus – The Porter’s Gate, Liz Vice
The Shadow Can’t Have Me – Arthur Alligood
Though You Slay Me – Shane & Shane
See You Again – The Gray Havens
Faith To Be Strong – Andrew Peterson
With the Brokenhearted – Lindsay McCaul, Brandon Heath
It Is Not Death to Die – Sovereign Grace Music