Micah Tyler's first full-length album Different featured the hit songs, "Different," "Even Then," and "Never Been a Moment." About his debut, Micah said, "Writing this record brought to the surface a lot of insecurities I've dealt with my entire life. Not feeling good enough. Psalm 139, David's praise of being uniquely created felt more like a punishment to me."
Listeners have been blessed and encouraged by his singles, “New Today” and “Amen” from his latest album, New Today. I love the exhortation in the title track: “Show me how I can forgive myself/cause Your mercies are new today.” I had the chance to speak with Micah about “New Today.”
Please tell me the personal story behind this song.
When we spoke in a previous devotional about “Different,” Hurricane Harvey had directly hit my hometown of Buna, Texas. We had substantial water damage. Then, a few weeks after that hurricane, my younger brother, Daniel, was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. We were in the middle of both life-changers happening back-to-back. It made for a roller coaster of emotions. And, there I was, trying to write a record in the middle of all of it. We released that album and started writing songs for this new album.
I have two rules in writing songs in Christian music. Rule one: it must line up with God’s Word. I want scripture to line up with what I write. I’d rather stand on His promises than my own. Rule two: I want to write from honest places. I want to point back and say here’s where God made this true to me. Or, here’s where I was struggling and learning how to trust God.
We were in such a tough season when writing “New Today.” This song came at the very end of my brother going through a vicious 10 months of chemotherapy. His cancer had spread throughout his entire body. He was about to go into surgery to see how the chemo was doing and remove any remaining cancer.
At that time, I was walking into writing sessions knowing the song I wrote could be playing in victory over my brother’s cancer or playing at a funeral in victory over his cancer in glory. I tried to be very present and honest in that. Praise God that His Word has so much truth in our hardest situations, and for fellow songwriters who I could write songs with who shared my songwriting rules. That’s where this song came from.
Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?
Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV): “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”
Matthew 11:28 (NIV): “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
John 10:10 (ESV): "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."
Philippians 4:7(NKJV): “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:11-13(NKJV): “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
What is the takeaway message?
The comfort in writing a song based on Lamentations 3:22-23 is that we didn’t have to wait for mercy to come or get things right with God to be granted mercy. Each morning, God offers mercy to us freely at great cost to Himself without us even asking for it. God’s unrelenting, incredible love isn’t far off; it’s available to us today. This is an Old Testament promise that is true every day.
We wrote this song being truthful to the place my heart was in at the time. And, beyond that, to the promise of God’s mercies being new every morning. This song is about reminding our hearts that His mercies are new today and every day. Jesus became sin so we can have His righteousness. He calls us into His rest as He shares in Matthew 11:28.
I’m a firm believer that every time there’s a parade you need to have strong shoulders. Strong shoulders to hold your young children so they can see what’s happening. From our vantage point, we can’t always see. But, from God’s vantage point, on His shoulders, we can see His mercy and grace. We can rest on His shoulders.
I’ve struggled. Releasing an album in the middle of so much craziness and uncertainty just feels strange. But, we’ve been working on it for three years now. The goal has always been to write music that brings hope to people that feel hopeless. So, if there was ever a moment to point people towards the hope of Jesus, now feels like as important a time as ever.
I’ve been hard on myself lately Every morning I feel the weight When it’s hard to just get out of bed Tell my heart Cause sometimes I forget
That Your mercies are new today Your mercies are new today I can rest on Your shoulders There is grace to start over Your mercies are new today Your mercies are new today
Help me rise like the morning sun
Help me see that Your works not done When I’m less than what I want to be Lord, I need You to keep reminding me
Your mercies are new today Your mercies are new today I can rest on Your shoulders There is grace to start over Your mercies are new today
I kept thinking you were angry But You were fighting just to hold me And pick me up every time I fell If Your love is here to lift me And Your blood says You forgive me
Show me how I can forgive myself Cause Your mercies are new today Your mercies are new again and again
Your mercies are new today Your mercies are new today I can rest on Your shoulders There is grace to start over Your mercies are new Oh new today I can rest on Your shoulders There is grace to start over Your mercies are new today Your mercies are new today
"New Today" reflects the yearning for Jesus to that I pray for my daughters to feel in their hearts as well. We raise our hands to celebrate and in surrender. We can lift our hands in confidence to God, knowing that His mercy is unfailing. His love is never-ending. He is our refuge and our strength. His mercies are new every morning.
God's mercy is new each day. It's not based on our performance or what we can do for God. He pours out His mercy despite what we've done. And, there's nothing we can do except trust in His Son, Jesus. We can't earn heaven. It's only through complete surrender to Jesus, putting our hope in Him that we can be saved.
This song is about having a strong faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Sometimes, we think we can try to know everything. God tells us in the Bible that with faith, we can do anything in Christ. One of the lessons I've learned about life is that we shouldn't wait to fix ourselves before we step out in faith. We need to fully trust God. Look for ways to obey Him. And, to offer your faith to Him.
Recently, I recently read a devotional study written by Pastor Jon Courson that the biblical word 'tekton,' translated as 'carpenter,' to describe Joseph is the word we use for "finish" carpenter rather than a framer. Tradition has it that Jesus worked with Joseph as a carpenter who specialized in making yokes. When Jesus used the analogy of being our yoke, He was describing how He bears the greater weight and carries us along, on His shoulders. What a beautiful picture of our Savior.
You can sincerely pray these biblical and prayerful words, clinging to the truth of this powerful song. The word of the Lord doesn't return void, and this song puts God's Word in the mouths of believers, reminding them of the truth of God's promises. The Lamentations 3:22-23 passage and this song challenges me to want to know God more deeply and have more faith and security in my relationship with God.
“New Today” is all about crying out for God's presence and desiring to know Him personally. Let's strive to know God, and He will come to us. We have the privilege to know Him, and if you are a follower of Jesus, He lives in you and has made you His home. You can know with certainty: “Help me rise like the morning sun/Help me see that Your works not done/When I’m less than what I want to be/Lord I need You to keep reminding me/Your mercies are new today.” Amen to that.
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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