#873 - "You Are Great" by Darlene Zschech
Darlene Zschech wrote this song of bold faith while deep in her fight with cancer.

Posted: November 09, 2017 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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If you like albums with God-focused worshipful lyrics based on Scripture and engaging female vocals then you'll want to check out Darlene Zschech's album Here I Am Send Me. If you connected with the latest female-led worship albums by Kari Jobe, Kim Walker-Smith and Bethel Music, you'll enjoy this emotional live worship album from the veteran writer and singer of "Shout to the Lord," "Worthy is the Lamb," "Victor's Crown" and "Cry of the Broken." I had the chance to speak with Darlene about "You Are Great."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

When I was going through treatment for cancer and I was at my sickest, Martin Smith flew over from England to visit with us. It meant so much to us. He came to be with our family and pray with us, to sing songs of faith over our church, to walk and talk with me and my husband, all the while speaking courage into us. It speaks into your theology and tenacity of your faith.

I was in treatment, and I was really not feeling well. Martin said, "So Darlene, I know you're going to want to write songs about this season. What do you want to say?" I was reading Scripture, and I told him that I want to write a song to say "He is great"' So we wrote this song together and have been singing it in our church. 

A lot of people bring their theology down to their experience, but I believe you've got to take your experience up to what the Word of God says. Every Scripture we were reading was about God's faithfulness and the greatness of God and His providence and sovereignty. That's where it started. We were talking about where we are, being lost in His presence and knowing He is here. He is never going to leave me.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Psalm 91:2 (NKJV): "I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust."

Psalm 91:7 (NKJV): "A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you."

Psalm 91:11 (NKJV): "For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways."

Psalm 91:16 (NKJV): "With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation."

Psalm 33:8 (NASB): "Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him."

Psalm 145:10-12 (VOICE): "All creation will stand in awe of You, O Eternal One. Thanks will pour from the mouths of every one of Your creatures; Your holy people will bless You. They will not be silent; they will talk of the grandeur of Your kingdom and celebrate the wonder of Your power. Until everyone on earth who has ears to hear knows Your valiant acts and the splendor of Your kingdom."

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV): "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight."

Philippians 1:6 (NKJV): "being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." 

Romans 8:28 (VOICE): "We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan."

What is the takeaway message?

In the midst of the fire, it doesn't change who our God is. Cancer is a dreadful thing. The medical world doesn't like to use the word "healed." They like to say the word "remission," but I believe in God's report over my life. I speak Psalm 91 over myself every day, I take my medicine and I take the word of God. I do my best with what I can do in the natural and trust God with those things over which I have no power. 

The chorus is a declaration that He is greater than the world has ever seen. We are trying to paint the picture that no matter what is going on, that does not affect God's greatness. I remember one day after a very tough few days just falling to my knees and crying out to God and praying Psalm 91 out to Him. I've learned that He's bigger than my questions and my doubts. I don't wake up every day wanting to say Hallelujah and sing a praise song. That's what I love about praise and worship: every time it is by faith. Whether you are having a great day or a tough day, we go by faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. We can come with all our groaning and questions, and He keeps showing His faithfulness. 

The end of Psalm 91 in verse 16 where it talks about long life, I say "yes and amen and thank you very much" to God. I still speak that Psalm over myself as I take medication every day. I speak it into the fabric of who I am. Through this whole process, I developed a fire within about God's goodness. My eldest daughter Amy talked about how that cry of Abraham when he answered the Lord in Genesis 22 is his absolute yes to God, "here I am." Before God asks, he brought his absolute yes, and God asked Him to sacrifice his only son. For me, my yes to God has become more defined. All of the songs have that thread of "yes, God." My answer is yes to Him.

Here I am safe in the arms of my Savior
Deep in my heart You are with me
Found in Your love
I am lost in Your presence
I will not fear You are with me
Jesus You reign
You're the King of Glory
You are my victory song

You are great
Greater the world has ever seen
Higher than the heavens over me
You are great
No one in this world can have Your fame
So let the earth declare Your holy Name Jesus

Here at the cross there is power to save us
Caught in Your beautiful grace
All through the ages eternally faithful
You are the Rock that we stand on
Yours is the Kingdom that won't be shaken
Jesus my victory song

We stand in awe
We stand in awe
We stand in awe Jesus

"You Are Great" is a powerful song about having faith that God participates in the lives of His people. We need to have faith that God participates meaningfully in our lives as followers of Jesus. He's with us, and through the power of the Holy Spirit inside of us, He's with us during our battles. I realize that Jesus commands us to trust God's Word completely no matter our circumstances.

We aren't the source of the power to overcome our challenges. God is our greater power source that brings the true power. In our weakness, God's strength is perfect! Remember, if God is for us, who can be against us? We can face our battles with more courage and strength because we know that whatever the outcome, based on His promise in Romans 8:28, "God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."

The bridge of this song reflects the thematic and biblical proclamations found throughout the song and album and found in Hebrews 4:16 (ESV): "Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need," and Psalm 89:7 (NLT): "The highest angelic powers stand in awe of God. He is far more awesome than all who surround His Throne." I was immediately hooked by the emotional and prayerful tone of this song. There are several Scripture passages about standing in awe of the Lord, also reflected in the Matt Redman song "Let My Words Be Few." This song is in that same vein. Be captivated by the reverence of standing in awe of God, and join in with Darlene to sing out "We stand in awe, Jesus."

We should speak of God's wondrous work of redemption while we declare His greatness. He is full of compassion, and His mercies are new every morning. You can sincerely pray these words along with Darlene. It is a moving offering of praise to Jesus. His love is never-ending, and He is our refuge and our strength. If you are looking for a firm foundation in your life, make these lyrics your personal prayer: "You are great, no one in this world can have Your fame, so let the earth declare Your holy name, Jesus." Amen to that!

Watch Darlene sing the song below. 


NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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