Hillsong is an Australian based worship band that was originally founded as part of Hillsong Church. The band started out as part of Hillsong’s youth ministry in 1998, but it has since risen to great popularity among Christians across the world. Their stated mission is “to reach and influence the world by building a large Christ-centered, Bible-based church, changing mindsets and empowering people to lead and impact in every sphere of life.”
One of Hillsong’s most successful songs was “Oceans.” This song is long and builds slowly, but its lyrics and soothing melody are worth it. The song focuses on the idea of trusting in God even in difficult times or when a person does not understand what is happening. The refrain states that “I will call upon Your name/and keep my eyes above the waves/when oceans rise, my souls will rest in Your embrace/for I am Yours and You are mine.” Perhaps the most famous lines of the song, however, are those of its bridge. “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders/let me walk upon the waters/wherever You would call me/Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander/And my faith will be made stronger/in the presence of my Savior.”
"I Can Only Imagine"
“I Can Only Imagine” is the most successful Christian song of all time. The song was originally recorded for the MercyMe album “The Worship Project” in 1999, but it was re-recorded for the band’s major-label debut on the album “Almost There.” The moving lyrics to the song were written in approximately 10 minutes by MercyMe vocalist Bart Millard.
The song has become the focus of the feature length movie “I Can Only Imagine,” but for most Christians the song is still most memorable for its simple but moving lyrics. The song describes trying to imagine what it will be like to meet Jesus after death and the many contradictory actions a person would feel equally moved to make. The song asks if people will “dance for you, Jesus/or in awe of You be still…will [they] sing ‘hallelujah!’/will [they] be able to speak at all?” No one knows. As the song says, all anyone can do is “only imagine.”
"Christ is Risen"
Matt Maher’s song is perfect for the Easter season and has been used in churches as part of Easter services. The simple melody is easy to play and easy to learn which makes it popular among some music ministries. The song celebrates the resurrection of Christ with its simple but powerful chorus: “Christ is risen from the dead/trampling over death by death/come awake, come awake/come and rise up from the grave/Christ is risen from the dead/we are one with Him again/come awake, come awake/come and rise up from the grave.”
Despite its beautiful verses, perhaps the most powerful lines are those of the final bridge. Quoting 1 Corinthians 15:55, the bridge asks Paul’s famous question with an air of defiance and triumph in order to remind Christians exactly what Christ defeated with His death and resurrection. “O death, where is your sting?/O hell, where is your victory?”
Laura Story’s song, “Blessings,” addresses how Christians pray for what they think they need, but God gives what is truly needed. “Blessings” states that “[God] hear[s] each spoken need/ yet love[s] us way too much to give us lesser things.” The song deals with how Christians can sometimes have fair-weather faith and see trouble as a sign that God is not listening. Those trials, however, can sometimes be blessings in disguise.
The simple melody and accompaniment of “Blessings” allow the words to take center stage so that the message of finding God in everything can shine through. Life is not always easy, but there may be hidden blessings in even the worst trials. As “Blessings” encourages Christians to wonder if “[God’s] blessings come through rain drops/what if Your healing comes through tears?/ What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?/What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?”