A Battle Hymn of Joy
by Fia Curley
In the Bible there are many names the Lord gives Himself. Each and every name helps us grow in the understanding of His character and nature. Descriptors such as Good Shepherd and Comforter display His care, while Yahweh and Almighty God boast of His power.
The Bible also refers to God as “a mighty man” and “a man of war” (Exodus 15:3; Isaiah 42:13), the Lord of Hosts. In the book of Revelation, we see Jesus demonstrating His strength and power as He rids the world of evil and displays His triumph, exacting His vengeance on a ruthless and prideful enemy that has attempted to hinder His people.
The One who stands in the midst of the lampstands in Revelation 1 and identifies with the pain and affliction of His followers in Acts is the One who daily fulfills His promise to “never leave [us] nor forsake [us].” This is Emmanuel.
At the end of the age we will see the full strength of God’s power against all that has tried to keep us from giving our love to Him in this life. But there are opportunities now to see a glimpse of that passion in our day-to-day.
Our Good Shepherd, our loving Father, our kind Comforter stands with us in the midst of trouble and turmoil. He doesn’t shy away from our challenges or chaotic emotions. God doesn’t panic, and He doesn’t scramble for solutions. The ultimate strategist—one lunch to feed multitudes, a barren couple to birth a people, a cross to win a war—God sees the best pathway to His desired results, to His plan to give us a hope and a future.
That path of victory toward being fully yoked to Christ is often paved with challenges and joy. The hills and valleys of life are clearly evidenced in the lives of the people we read about in the Bible. Undoubtedly, life has its difficulties—professionally, economically, socially, politically, even emotionally—and the Lord knows this. But God has provided His grace and strength to give us joy in the midst of difficulty and attack.
Daily He sustains us. And He gives us His song to sing.
The Bible calls those who have put their trust in Jesus as “more than conquerors,” ones who overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Our ultimate destiny and appointed end is victory. But in addition to what will be, Jesus is very much present in our day-to-day to proclaim that our current reality is also one of victory.
He has paid the ultimate price to win the ultimate victory, one He willingly shares with us. His triumph was one that was complete in its totality, irrevocable in its authority, and unequivocal in its extravagance. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection, three days later, reverberated throughout history—backwards into eternity past and forward into eternity future—like one small stone hurled into a still pond.
This is why during the times of our greatest trial, our King, the undisputed victor of all time, lovingly instructs us to “let a song be on our lips, a hymn of praise to our God” (Psalm 40:3 NIV). Like in the days of old when victors would return from war with their spoils, we too can walk into our days singing songs of victory. We can enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise for what has been won.
And even those with the least trained singing voices can lift up a joyful noise to the One who sacrificed everything in order to legally win everything, giving it away to anyone who would accept His free gift. Singing is biblical.
“Let the ruins of Jerusalem break into joyful song, for the Lord has comforted His people. He has redeemed Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 52:9 NLT)
“Sing, O barren,
You who have not borne!
Break forth into singing, and cry aloud,
You who have not labored with child!
For more are the children of the desolate
Than the children of the married woman,” says the Lord.” (Isaiah 54:1)
“Break forth into joy, sing together, You waste places of Jerusalem! For the Lord has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem.The Lord has made bare His holy arm In the eyes of all the nations; And all the ends of the earth shall see The salvation of our God.” (Isaiah 52:9-10)
The instruction to sing truth is not a euphemism or allegorical representation of what we’re called to do. It is our warfare in the midst of pressures in this life. Our song of truth tears down wrong thoughts that cloud our judgment, obscure our view, and taint our perspective of God’s power, goodness, and passion for us as His children.
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. (2 corinthians 10:3-6 ESV)
Our song of Jesus’ triumph is our pathway to peace and gratitude—two powerful keys to staying strengthened in the midst of battle. It fights backs the questions that arise to accuse God’s character. What if He fails? What if He doesn’t come through? What if this is the one test you can’t pass?
Instead we lift our voices and find ourselves strengthened on the inside to believe for greater. We find ourselves becoming indignant at the enemy’s pathetic tactics and predictable attempts to dissuade us. We let truth rise higher than the accusations. What if He’s positioning me for the greatest turnaround I could experience? What if He’s using this moment to strengthen believers and proclaim truth to unbelievers? What if He’s drawing me closer to Himself in the midst of the problem so I see who He really is?
As we sing, we return to the place we are meant to reside, the place of confidence in our victorious King, who has withheld nothing to win us back. He has created everything, recouped all losses, and lavishly given us all things once again.
Victory is ours. It is our inheritance that Jesus wants us to willingly and freely accept and enjoy today, here, in the land of the living.
“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:27)
In this place of revelation, we can enjoy His nearness and rejoice in His goodness as we let this reality fuel our song. He is the Lord God gracious. He is slow to anger, abounding in love. He is good toward me and His mercy will endure forever toward me. He is victorious, the Lord of Hosts, the only one who has never lost a battle and He is for me.
Creator of Heaven and Earth, Maker of all things, including my heart, He is my Helper, my peace, my portion, and the lifter of my head. Jehovah Jireh, Ancient of Days, Emmanuel, He is for me. He is a Father. He is kind. And He decided to choose me and call Himself my God.
This is who we raise our voices to and sing about during the journey through the valley of shadow of death. This is the truth we sing, because of who He is, because He has made us more than conquerors.
Father God, I thank you for Your loving me. You are leading me with Your eye upon me, and You say that You know the plans You have for me. I praise You because You are good and Your heart is holy. You are for me, not against me. And if You are for me, then I am confident that no one can destroy Your plan for my life. I am safe because I am in You. I am secure because I’m in covenant with You. And I am confident because I am Yours.
In Jesus’ name, amen!
There is power in singing truth. Grab the latest copy from Unceasing, a snapshot of the most powerful moments from the prayer room, and let us battle with you in song. Learn more >>
Fia Curley served on the NightWatch at IHOPKC for many years, participating in prayer, worship, and intercession from midnight to 6am. Currently attending college in New York, she enjoys blending her passion for prayer, worship, and journalism as she labors with the Lord to see His goodness revealed to families, government leaders, and immigrants from non-Christian nations.