BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#1048 - "He Will Redeem it All" by Melanie Penn
The singer-songwriter shares the inspiration behind her latest song
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #1048 -
Posted: December 01, 2020 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Singer/songwriter Melanie Penn writes pop songs at the crossroads of faith and culture. Melanie was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Falls Church, Virginia. She now lives in Manhattan, New York. Following several years in the theater scene, Penn’s attention turned to songwriting and becoming a solo artist.

Subsequently, Melanie started collaborating with producer Ben Shive. And, since then, she has released four albums, with More Alive Vol. 1 becoming her fifth project. The album features "I Want to Know You," "Don’t Worry," and "Avenue of the Americas." 
 
The musical vibe of the aforementioned songs sets the tone for this exceptional album. It features her unique brand of gourmet lyrical phrasing embedded with the truth of the gospel for those with ears to hear. 

More Alive Vol. 1 showcases not only Melanie's gifts as a songwriter but her shimmering, emotion-laden voice. This album is loaded with positive grace-filled messages of hope. Her songs address the pressures of life. Through her music, she understands that true happiness and her identity only comes from her relationship with God.
 
In the style of my favorite singer-songwriters, Christa WellsSara Groves and Ellie Holcomb, I can’t get enough of Melanie’s thought-provoking songs. I had the chance to speak with Melanie about one of my favorite songs of the year, “He Will Redeem it All.”
 

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

"He Will Redeem It All" started as a dedication to two friends—one had just lost her sister to cancer, and another unfairly lost his job. Both friends held their heads high during their trials, trusting that God would operate—even while sorrow and uncertainty seemed to carry the day. Fast forward one year to this pandemic.

I had no idea this song would come out when the whole world is suffering from the same hardships as my two friends, yet on a massive scale: illness and job loss.

This song's dedication, hopefully, embraces everyone, including the lyrics about bad news. How do we have hope in the gospel when we have no hope or redemption when we turn on the news? There’s no healing and talk about how we are going to be knit together and restored.

If we don’t find it in the gospel, we’re not going to find it anywhere else. I like that the song came out during this time with its hopeful message that we really need during this time.

There were songs I was going to release in 2020 that I’m now saving for 2021. I only bring that up to say that there is material I was ready to release that was dissonant with the moment we are in. I have written songs about taking risks and jumping into something new which weren’t appropriate for this year. I needed to make music for the world we are in, and not the world I wanted to live in this year.
 
Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Revelation 21:4 (NIV): "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

Isaiah 58:6-9 (MSG): "This is the kind of fast day I'm after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. What I'm interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. The God of glory will secure your passage. Then when you pray, God will answer. You'll call out for help and I'll say, 'Here I am.'

Titus 2:14 (VOICE): "He gave His body for our sakes and will not only break us free from the chains of wickedness, but He will also prepare a community uncorrupted by the world that He would call His own--people who are passionate about doing the right thing."

Psalm 30:11-12 (VOICE): "You did it: You turned my deepest pains into joyful dancing; You stripped off my dark clothing and covered me with joyful light. You have restored my honor. My heart is ready to explode, erupt in new songs! It's impossible to keep quiet! Eternal One, my God, my Life-Giver, I will thank You forever."
 
James 4:14 (NKJV): “Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”
 
What is the takeaway message?

The last thing you want to say to someone who’s suffering is, “Don’t worry. God is going to reverse all of this!” Well, okay, that may be true. But, it somehow never cures the actual pain, does it? Truth isn’t necessarily an analgesic. Redemption may be in the future, but the pain is here now.

I offer this song up for all of us, humbly, to believe that God will redeem every part of this pandemic—all the suffering, all the loss. It becomes painfully obvious in cultural moments like this one how completely counter-cultural the gospel is to anything else.

In a normal year, you do see some hope and redemption in the secular culture from time to time. But, this year, I haven’t seen any hope in mainstream culture. It’s even more important for artists who write songs from Bible messages that we are saying it loud and clear, that there’s hope to be found and a possibility for hard things that have happened to be reversed by God’s grace and redemption.
 
Lyrics

Some days it’s out of my control
When the nighttime closes in I hold my breath
Worryin’
 
Thinkin’ about my family and my friends
And all the hard things we’ve been up against
That I wish I could fix
But I trust in this
 
He will redeem it all
Every sigh of sorrow will be turned into a song
He will redeem it all
Every tear will disappear in the light of that dawn
It’s always darkest right
Before the morning light
So hold on He will redeem it all

So much injustice every day
It’s here at home and far away

The newscast is so bad
 
But through it all my hope is in the one
Who says all pain will be undone
We’ll never cry again
And in the end
 
He will redeem it all
Every sigh of sorrow will be turned into a song
He will redeem it all
Every tear will disappear in the light of that dawn
It’s always darkest right
Before the morning light
So hold on He will redeem it all
 
Closing Thoughts
 

"He Will Redeem it All" and Melanie's other songs have perfectly poetic biblical descriptions of God and our identity in Him as His sons and daughters. Her songs are loaded with comforting hope messages. Breathe each truth in like oxygen. And, God's hope will turn whatever you're going through into a message we all need—especially during this pandemic. 
 
We need to truly be free in Christ. Be happy and filled with joy. We live in a fallen world, dealing with the fear and anxiety of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, take the truth of what it means to follow Christ, and know you weren’t made for this world.  

We all need to remember that the earth isn’t our permanent home. Our freedom from the restlessness of this world will come when we enter the true rest that can only come from living eternally with Jesus Christ. 
 
As you prepare your heart for Christmas, let this song become a personal anthem for you to sing daily. Read your Bible every day. God wants you to have a daily reminder not to be afraid.

"He Will Redeem It All" addresses the concept of keeping our eyes wide open to injustice with the lyrics, “So much injustice every day/It’s here at home and far away/The newscast is so bad,” and to remember our calling, as stated in Ephesians 5:14: "wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." 
 
We serve a God who has infinitely more for us than we can think or imagine. This song reminds me to have resolve as a follower of Jesus, to keep my eyes wide open and find ways to serve Him for our good and His glory. Being a Christian isn't just keeping Jesus to ourselves; it's about keeping our eyes fixed on the prize to finish the race that God has set out for each of us in our walks.
 
One day, there will be no more pain, no more sorrow, and no more suffering. So, put your hope and trust in God for your salvation. Know that you'll be with Him as a new creation with a new body. You'll worship Him forever, as expressed in this song. Whatever struggle or depression you're facing, know that God is with you—always.

The comfort and rest offered by Jesus are beautifully captured in “He Will Redeem it All.” Melanie beautifully depicts the message of our blessed hope that God is making all things new that we all need to hear, “But through it all my hope is in the one/Who says all pain will be undone/We’ll never cry again/And in the end/He will redeem it all.” 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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