For the last 7 or so years, I've been enjoying the music of Benjamin Everson. He is a Christian musician who creates a capella arrangements of various hymns and other God-honoring music. The first arrangement I heard was "Complete in Thee". Ever since, I've been hooked. His latest arrangement, "What Manner of Man is This" is a song that emphasizes the person and work of Christ. Here is the YouTube link.
Monday, September 21, 2015
Saturday, June 6, 2015
If you have not heard, Clearwater Christian College announced that they will be closing the doors. Of course, there are many reasons for this, however this pastor's article briefly mentions the approval of CCM worship.
The Bible is clear on the way a believer needs to approach God. Many Christians believe that they can worship God their own way, based on how they feel or what the experience. No doubt that this article is saddening, but proves that biblical worship needs to be kept sacred.
Sunday, April 26, 2015
How do people know the gospel of salvation? To put it in its simplest form, someone communicated it to them, whether vocally or written. The gospel of salvation was communicated multiple ways, through the old testament prophecies, through the written record, and through the prophecies of the One who died to save all mankind from sin, and finally through the crucifixion of Christ. Moments after a person comes to the saving knowledge of Christ, they'll start to communicate that same knowledge to others. I know a little girl who got saved when she was about 5 and it didn't take long before she started telling her little brother. The Bible commands believers to tell the gospel of salvation to others.
The means of salvation is faith in the finished work of Christ, His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. This is the very basis of what the believer is commanded to communicate and the only message we can communicate to others before anything else. There is a tendency in us to start to communicate other truths from God's Word to an unbeliever, before they actually receive Christ. Certainly, if they ask questions, we need to be ready and prepared with answers, but it all needs to be brought back to the basis of fait in the finished work of Christ. In the gospel of John alone, there are approximately 85 times that the word "believe" is used. And, of course, that gospel is written so "that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."
Jesus said in John 12 "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness." The only way of true salvation is to believe in the finished work of Christ. Believe that he died for your sins and be saved. John 17:3 "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
The Influences of Music
Music can be a sensitive issue for anybody, because it can be so personal, but the music we listen to, both in our worship to the Lord and in our personal lives, (according to Romans 12:2, our whole life should be a sacrifice to the Lord) is an important subject to look at if we desire to please the Lord. As we look at some Biblical principles and Bible verses that can very much be applied to everyday life, maybe we could consider our own choices of music. In this study, Lord willing, we’ll see how music can influence the thoughts, feelings, and also the behavior of its listeners.
The first thing we should consider is how much do we want to know God and are we willing to make sacrifices to be yielded to the Lord? I pray that the answer is that we all have the same desire as Paul in Philippians 3:10.( Phil 3:10 “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”) If that is the case, then whatever we do will be yielded to Christ. Of course, we’re sinners and will not always be yielded to Christ, however the first step to knowing God, is to have a desire to know him, to always be in prayer to be abiding in that relationship to Christ, and finally, do our best to be yielded in that relationship. If there is anyone here who doesn’t know Christ as their personal savior, Jesus Christ said himself that you MUST be born again, or believe in the finished work of Christ and have everlasting life. It’s that simple. The only requirement for salvation is to believe and thou shalt be saved.
Let’s consider how music can influence our thoughts and our perception of something. (Smith, 2005) Think of the late 1890’s to the 1920’s when silent movies were popular. One particular scene that we can all picture in our heads is that of 2 women. The heroin enters onto the scene accompanied by joyful, upbeat and lively music while the female villain is accompanied with dark, evil, perhaps sultry music. The writers of this film certainly intended these 2 characters to have the perception of joyful and innocent or dark and sinister. The audience was given this idea without even having to be told. Music, by itself, has a very powerful way to suggest an atmosphere, emotion, attitude or behavior. Another way to look at this is when I was younger and not walking with the Lord, I was friends with a DJ. One night, he was going to be DJing at a club somewhere and wanted me to come. I went and had my fun and at some point I must’ve been gone. I came back and he told me “Man, you should’ve been here, I just had all the people up dancing and doing some crazy things!!” Just from the type of music he played, the result of that was just repulsive.
Secondly, think of the words to your favorite song. Are those words encouraging to YOUR spiritual walk? The words of the world’s music are, in all aspects, meaningless and empty, no matter the topic. Music and the lyrics can be used to encourage or discourage our walk with the Lord. The more we hear words, the more that we think about them (esp. when put to a melody) and therefore our thoughts are now influenced by the words of certain music. At my work, the radio is turned up kind of loud so that people can hear the music. Sometimes I hear the radio DJ come on and announce, maybe, an upcoming concert or some kind of event. He then announces that they will be giving away free tickets to this event. There is a catch with these free passes, if and when you hear a certain song being played between such and such a time, be the 50th caller and you’ll qualify for these tickets. Someone that really wants those tickets, chooses to be a slave to listening to that radio station for so many hours, not to mention that those tickets are not even a 100% guarantee.
The Bible tells us in numerous places that the mind is where the true struggle of the believer is.
Eph. 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
There are also numerous places in the Bible where we are encouraged to keep our mind focused on things above.
Colossians 3:2 “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
Phil 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are TRUE, whatsoever things are HONEST, whatsoever things are JUST, whatsoever things are PURE, whatsoever things are LOVELY, whatsoever things are of GOOD REPORT; if there be any VIRTUE, and if there be any PRAISE, think on these things.”
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 7:25 “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
At the conclusion of the struggle of our 2 natures that Paul describes in Romans chapter 7, Paul is thankful that Christ has given him the intellect to know the differences among doing wrong and doing right, or discernment. Discernment is VERY important when we have decisions to make, especially in this particular area when there are SO many so-called “Christian” songs. A person that might not have a lot of discernment, won’t see any issues with listening to “Christian” rap, rock, country, metal and whatever else is out there being portrayed as Christ-honoring music. Discernment is difficult, for anybody, and we need to pray for wisdom and discernment in EVERY decision.
James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
The next part of music we’ll look at is the melody. There are songs written for the purpose of making us FEEL happy, sad, angry, or excited. There are even some songs that are intended to make us want to FEEL certain ways that the artist and songwriter wants their audience to feel. How often have you put on your favorite music when you feel a little down or when you feel excited? I think all of us here have. Our emotions are influenced by the type of music we listen to. Let’s try another experiment. Most likely, we’ve all seen a horror movie. We can all anticipate when something is about to happen and we “sit on the edge of our seat” simply by the music in the background. Try turning off the sound when you watch that movie. You won’t know if something is about to happen because the music won’t be there to influence your emotions. When I was in high school, we went on a trip to Arizona to march in a parade for a big football game event. There was a video made of the trip and everyone got a copy. One scene on this video was of the football team tackling each other and whatnot, and the music in the background was hard pounding heavy metal to give the audience the FEEL of aggression and hostility. That scene would be somewhat different if the music had been ballet or classical. Various styles of music have various effects on their perception of things and a person’s attitude.
On the other hand, one benefit of listening to music that is poised or calm, (rather than agitated or excited, which might detract from the message of reverence or praise to our God), along with scripture is that the Lord uses His scripture or hymns, like “Sweet HOUR of Prayer” to convict, HOUR?...of prayer, or maybe you’ve been encouraged by hymns like “Be Still My Soul” or even challenged by a hymn like “I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go, Dear Lord”. Not all of us here enjoy being convicted, but the more of a desire we have to grow in our relationship with God, the more we want to have that dross burned off. Some believers enjoy listening to modest music with words of honor to God, like “Wonderful Grace of Jesus, Greater than all my sin; How shall me tongue describe it, where shall it’s praise begin…” and this, too, edifies and encourages our relationship to the Lord in the sense that our thoughts are pointed towards the majesty and glory of our wonderful, all sufficient creator. God’s word is powerful and whether we hear God’s word in a message from Pastor or in a song or hymn, His word speaks to our hearts, if we have a humble and tender heart. When we choose to be drawn closer to the Lord, the Lord is delighted and will draw nigh unto us, as we’re told in James 4:8a. There have been so many times when I have felt discouraged or sad or whatever else and I would put on some hymns or praise music and I will just feel SO encouraged. The words to the hymns that we sing in church or, of course, scripture verses are what encourage our spiritual growth, among other exercises, and as was mentioned earlier, if we have the same goal as the apostle Paul in Philippians, we’ll WANT to draw closer to the Lord.
If the words of a song can manipulate how and what we think about, and the music itself can influence our emotions, the way that music is arranged or the rhythm can influence our body.
According to the Bible, we are always being changed into God’s likeness and there are numerous places in the Bible that remind us that we are a new creation with a new nature. The types of behavior that are endorsed by the world’s music is, in all aspects, fleshly. In the Bible we are told to put on the new nature and walk in newness of life and to yield, not only our minds, but our bodies to Christ.
Eph 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
Eph 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
Eph 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Putting on the new man means that NOTHING from that old man should be relevant to us. Although we fail at this over and over again, we need to remember to walk in newness of life because the devil uses whatever he can to distract us from our Lord and Savior. Music is one way, and a powerful way, that the Devil is using to pull more and more Christians away. We know that our struggle is in the mind, for the most part, and just being more aware of the distractions in our lives that could distract us from our walk with the Lord would be beneficial.
There is only 1 verse in the Bible where the Greek word from which the word rhythm comes from is used.
John 7:38 “He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall FLOW rivers of living water.”
The word translated “flow” in this verse is the Greek word rheo which means to flow or to pulse. I’m sure that most of us here have heard of Rheumatoid arthritis. This basically hinders the flow of blood to the joints in your body. In neuroscience, rheobase, is a term that’s simply assigned to the brain when it sends an electric current to tell how much blood flow is needed for the muscle. I’m sure that we’ve all experienced a shock of some form. I remember when I was younger, and quite dumb in this instance. I was at a friend’s house and we were repairing an electrical outlet. Well, the wires were exposed and I think we all know what comes next. I decided to grab two of the wires and see what happened. I think it’s pretty obvious to us all that kind of exposure to electricity directly affects that part of the body, and in this case, my hand. For that few seconds, I had no control over my hand. We can see from this how the flow of electrical currents directly provokes our muscles to contract.
There can also be outside influences that control our muscles. Everybody here knows someone who has a little toddler running around. Toddlers don’t have a clue about the affects of music and yet when they hear a beat, they start to move around to that beat. We all think it’s cute, but it only proves that much more how much music can have an influence on us, physically. The Bible tells us to yield the members of our bodies, or to have control over ourselves. When we listen to music with a prominent back beat, we might not feel the effect directly, but have you ever found yourself tapping your foot or snapping or keeping the beat in some way? In this small way, the music is influencing part of our body.
This last section might not seem all that important. In music that has a prominent rhythm or upbeat pulse, the most important instrument to emphasize this beat, are the drums. A lot of people argue that drums don’t hurt anything and if used in the right circumstances, could serve as a benefit. I would like to suggest that even good music that have drums needs to be carefully considered. Perhaps a person with a strong stance on Christ honoring music hears a hymn variation that has a very light drum beat in the background. Over time that soft drum beat, not always, but might want to be heard more and more. What is a soft and light sounding drum beat to start, in time, might turn into a heavier sounding beat.
I think most of us are aware that drums were originally used in the tribes of Africa by the people to conjure up evil spirits and introduce everyone into a trance state of mind, or pretty much a hypnotic state.
Let me read a quote from a website I came across that speaks about the influence of rhythm and the way the drums were used.
“Studies have shown that vibrations from rhythmic sounds have a profound effect on brain activity. In shamanic traditions, drums were used in periodic rhythm to transport the shaman into other realms of reality. The vibrations from this constant rhythm affected the brain in a very specific manner, allowing the shaman to achieve an altered state of mind and journey out of his or her body .”
(Later on in this series we will see a little more about the occultic influence on rock music.)
The use of drums in music is not a wrong thing in and of itself, however , the way the drums are used or played does have an influence on us whether we know it or not. In fact, I have read a lot about today’s Christian rock groups being influenced by secular rock groups. (One of Relient K’s influences is Led Zeppelin) Secular rock groups are heavily influenced by the occult and to listen to Christian rock bands that look up to, and sometimes even duplicate the rhythms of these secular groups, is a danger that we need to be aware of. Let me read another quote.
"My true belief about Rock ‘n’ Roll — is this: I believe this kind of music is demonic . . . A lot of the BEATS in music today are taken from voodoo, from the voodoo DRUMS." (Charles White, The Life and Times of Little Richard, p. 197)
The Bible says that we need to walk with our Lord circumspectly.
Eph. 5:15 “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,”
This is the starting phrase in which our parallel passage is found. The first thing that we are told is to walk circumspectly. The Greek word that is translated circumspectly means perfectly. This, of course, covers A LOT MORE than what we are focusing on here, but we need to be aware of the types of things in this world that would hinder us from having that perfect walk with the Lord.
As you can see, there is a lot about music that we can learn and, Lord willing, we will see in the next messages some examples of different types of music that is being justified as Christ honoring.
The issue of music in the Christian’s life is an area that is greatly effecting the church and individuals and therefore we need to pray for discernment and wisdom. James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.The Lord doesn’t mind when we ask for wisdom especially when we are seeking HIS will.
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:18-19
In this series of messages, I would like to stick to only 2 key passages that are VERY often used in discussions about music and worship and see what we can learn through just these two verses. Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:18 are verses that have encouraged, convicted, and overall been a joy in my life. Let me just share why I would like to stay with these verses. April (of 09), I realized that the Lord had laid, heavily, on my heart the subject of music and how important it is to be discerning in that area. I prayed about how to approach the subject since it is a very broad topic to study as opposed to an expository study. I started studying music and what the Bible says about it and started reading various books on the subject and such and all the while I really desired to stay with an expository format. I would continue to pray about the messages the Lord would have me to share and specifically that the Lord would reveal to me how to do an expository study, which would perhaps include the topic of music. I wasn't sure what passage to expound upon and so I started putting together messages on music in general. It is so amazing how the Lord answers SPECIFIC prayers. The Lord later opened my eyes to Col. 3:16 and Eph. 5:18 There is so much information in these verses that cover, not just music, but various topics. In this series of messages, we will see all the different topics that is covered and Lord-willing be able to discern all the different results of being filled with the Spirit.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
In this passage, Paul tells us that there are results to letting the word of Christ DWELL in us richly. Lets first look at this word dwell. This term has a sense of inhabiting something, to be at home. This also implies that there should be some level of comfort that exists. I dont know if the word of Christ will ever be comfortable in me, but were commanded here to allow some level of comfort suitable for the word of Christ to dwell richly in us or to be comfortably at home in us. Im sure that most of us here have been on a vacation or away from home for a length of time. There is a VERY comfortable feeling that we get when we come HOME from a vacation. It might be a very relaxing vacation and we enjoy everything about it, however there is nothing like coming home. The vacation is very comfortable and home is comfortable, but it is more FAMILIAR to us and..it just feels comfortable. We need to let the Holy Spirit feel at home in us. Anything that will make the Holy Spirit uncomfortable in us needs to be done away with, or confessed. Also, the word richly in this verse means abundantly. What a command!! We need to LET the word of Christ BE AT HOME in us RICHLY or ABUNDANTLY.
The next thing we notice in this verse is that we are told to let the WORD OF CHRIST dwell in us. The phrase word of God or word of the Lord occur more than 300 times in the Bible and often it is referring to the word which came from the Lord God as the source. This phrase, the Word of Christ only occurs once in the whole Bible, which might indicate that Paul is using this phrase in a different way than the word of God or the word of the Lord. The whole Bible, from cover to cover is the word which is all about Christ. The theme of the book of Colossians is about Christ. Col. 1:14 tells us that we are redeemed through Christ. Verse 15, Christ is the express image of God. Were told in 16 that all things were made by Christ and FOR him. Verse 17 tells us that Christ consist or Christ holds everything together. Christ is to have preeminence in our lives and everything we do according to verse 18. This is just the first part of chapter 1. Later on, Paul tells us Christ is in US, the hope of Glory.
Revelation 1:1An unvealing of Christ
John 5:46Moses wrote all about Christ in the Pentateuch
Luke 24:27The Prophetic books concern Christ
Luke 24:44The Law, the Prophets, and the writings are about Christ. All 3 major sections of the Old Testament.
We can see from these passages that the Bible IS about Christ and so when Paul uses this phrase in Colossian 3:16, its not a stretch to say that the word of Christ refers to the Bible.
The first result we see in this passage is teaching one another. The Word of Christ dwelling in us richly will automatically result in us wanting to teach others. Everyone who is a believer and knows the Lord as their personal savior is able to teach. No matter what the level of Bible knowledge is. You dont need to take all the theological and seminary classes before you begin to teach, if you know the simple truth that the wages of sin is death and Christ paid the debt for our sins so that we might be saved through faith, you are able to share that with your unsaved friends or family. Were also told that when we teach some truth about Gods word, it needs to be done in all WISDOM. This is not referring to our wisdom, we have no wisdom. All the wisdom that we DO have is from the Lord. We need to keep this in mind when teaching any truth from Gods word.
James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated(Good to believe and trust), full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Whenever I teach anything from Gods word, I like to think of it a little different. Im just SHARING the study that I have been privileged to experience. The Wisdom that God gives to his children when they study HIS word is such a blessing. Throughout the study, God teaches us more about what is being studied, but more importantly were learning more about GOD himself. That should be the goal in life. That was Paul's goal in Philippians 3:10. We NEED to know GOD more in this life. What a joy it will be when we get to see GOD face to face!!
Along with a desire to teach others when the word of Christ is RICHLY dwelling in us, were told that we will also feel a need to ADMONISH others. The Greek word that is translated admonish is to caution someone or to warn. What is it that we need to warn others about? Well, the day of the Lord is approaching and there are certain events that need to happen first. Watching the news, we can see, though the events described in the Bible are not happening yet, there are things in our government and in the world that are making them more and more likely to happen soon. We NEED to admonish others their need to know Christ as their savior so that they will be saved from the wrath of the Father. Both of these, teaching others and admonishing others needs to be done IN ALL WISDOM, were told. The more the Word of Christ dwells in us, the more truth we'll learn, simply because were spending time in the Word of Christ. Its only natural to want to share the truth of what you just learned. There are AMAZING truths found in Gods word, however truth is far more effective when shared with wisdom. It might not be very wise at all after a car accident and the car is totaled to say "Well, all things work together for good to them that love God" or to tell someone "they better stop smoking because the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience". We all sin against the Lord, but in his infinite grace, he forgives us. Those things quoted from the Bible are true and right, but not necessarily given with wisdom. When someone gives us advice, or we feel led to give advice, we need to pray about it and search the scriptures on the subject. Lets look at a few verses.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Psalm 33:11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
We, in and of ourselves, have no wisdom to show to others. The only wisdom that we DO have is from the Lord. When we have an opportunity to explain the Gospel or share some advice with someone, it should, not only be Biblically accurate, but we should pray (right then and there) and ask the Lord how HE would want us to explain this or how to share this advice while being sensitive to the situation. The council of the Lord is the BEST council that anybody could share with others. Sometimes I might be talking to a brother in Christ and Im not exactly sure what to say or what advice would be appropriate. Its amazing what scripture the Lord brings to your mind that you can share.
Lets turn to a parallel passage.
Eph 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Eph 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Eph 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
This passage starts by stating that there are 2 different types of influences. The Bible is very clear in this passage and this analogy of choosing to be drunk or to be filled with the Spirit is relatively easy to understand when compared to other commands in the Bible. This passage compares 2 different ways we can let our body, mind, thoughts, etc be controlled. The word RICHLY in Colossian 3 and the word FILLED in Ephesians are related. These 2 Greek words mean to be abundantly filled. If we study these 2 a little further, well find that their meanings also have a sense of inhabiting something. In short, were commanded to let the Word of Christ be completely and comfortably abounding in us.
The first way is to be controlled by alcohol and when somebody is controlled by alcohol, they act out of their nature. Wherein is excess tells us again that this person gives the control of their body over to alcohol. Whether in Bible times or today, I can only imagine that the result is the same when abused and drank in excess. Maybe some of us here have seen the way a person acts when they are drunk. When somebody is filled or controlled by wine, they allow the alcohol to influence the way they talk, the way they walk, the way they think, and to control the way their body acts. I remember when I was younger, I was with someone who drank A LOT and they were NOT in control of their body. In fact, they woke up in the middle of the night, vomiting. There was so much alcohol in their system that their body wanted to get rid of it and even though they werent conscience of what was going on, their body was reacting. In contrast to this type of control is the control of the Holy Spirit. When somebody is filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit, there is also an aspect of allowing the Holy Spirit to control. Its very, very difficult to plainly explain to someone how to allow and to let the Holy Spirit lead. The Holy Spirit works in different ways in each persons life so my experiences and how the Holy Spirit works in my life might not be the same working in your life, but it is VERY important to pray and to set our affections on things above and to make wise decisions where Christ has the preeminence. When our minds and affections are set on things above, well want to seek things above more and more.
Col. 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Col. 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
These 3 verbs in verse Colossians 3:19, speaking, singing, and making are all direct results of being filled with the spirit. Christ-honoring music will naturally flow out of the Spirit-filled believer, if we are yielded. We will be speaking to ourselves in Psalms, Hymns, and spiritual songs and more importantly singing and making melody in our HEARTS to the Lord.
Lets first look at the result to speak to ourselves in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual songs. The WORDS in the hymns that we sing came from great trials that the Lord used in the authors lives. The great hymn O Love that Wilt not let me go written by a man called to the ministry and his fiancé left him because she didnt want to be married to a blind preacher. It is well with my Soul, one of my favorite hymns, written by a man (Horatio Spafford) that lost his only son to pneumonia at the age of 4,lost his life savings during the great Chicago fire in 1871, and finally, losing his 4 daughters on a shipwreck. More recently, Ron Hamiltons song Rejoice in the Lord was written in result of losing his eye to cancer. Many Hymns and songs like these are an encouraging testimony of devotion and honor to the Lord, and in the Bible, were told to comfort and edify one another. (1 Thess. 5:11)
The next result were told about is that we will be singing and making melody in our hearts TO the Lord. Only the Lord can see our heart attitude towards him and he comforts us here, by telling us that when we are filled with his glorious Holy Spirit, our hearts will sing and make melodies TO the Lord. We can read about the testimony of singing TO the Lord in Acts 16. The filling of the Holy Spirit results in singing TO our God. Our joy in the Lord is based on the relationship we have in Him. This is illustrated for us in Acts. Paul and Silas were wrongfully imprisoned, stripped and beaten, and shackled to a dirty dungeon. No one that I know would be happy in those circumstances.
Acts 16:22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
Acts 16:23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
Acts 16:24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.
Act 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
There is no doubt in my mind that the prison guards heard a clear presentation of the gospel. Maybe Paul and Silas sang songs of personal testimony similar to Amazing Grace that saved a wretch like me or Burdens are lifted at Calvary or maybe there was a first century hymn similar to the one we sing. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, whatever my lot though hast taught me to say, It is well, It is well, with my soul.
As was mentioned earlier, Christ-Honoring music is a result that directly stems from great trials of the faith and even though there was no upside to Paul and Silas' earthly circumstance, there was NOTHING that take away the joy in their HEARTS.