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10 Christian Songs of Recovery
NRT's Paul Phillips and Kevin McNeese list ten songs to encourage and celebrate your recovery from addiction, illness, or other trauma

AN NRT EXCLUSIVE EDITORIAL, 10 Christian Songs of Recovery
Posted: May 12, 2022 | By: KevinMcNeese_NRT
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Addictions are something we don't talk enough about and the effects can be devastating to ourselves and those around us. From smoking, drugs, prescription medications, alcohol, and destructive sexual activity skyrocketing since the pandemic, many are drowning, looking for a way out while buried under tremendous guilt and shame.

But there is hope.

Recovery from addiction–as well as from injury, illness, or even trauma induced by the addictions and actions of those we love–is a road worth traveling and takes tremendous courage that is best done within a strong community, a safe support group, and a multitude of tools. 
Jeremiah 17:14 says, "Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise." Whatever your story is, and wherever you are in your journey, music is a tremendous tool to find encouragement and knowledge that you're not alone. It's also a great reminder that God is the author of your journey and you can find true healing through Him.

NRT's Senior Editor, Paul Phillips, and NRT's Founder, Kevin McNeese, share ten songs that can comfort and encourage you through your personal journey through recovery.
Phil Wickham - "Battle Belongs" (Paul)
Your church has no doubt sang this song at morning or evening worship. But "Battle Belongs" is more than just another catchy worship tune. It tells a story of recovery. It says that God's with you through pain and stays with you to celebrate your victory. What inspires me most is that God already sees our victory—even when we don't.
"When all I see is the battle, You see my victory/When all I see is the mountain, You see a mountain moved/And as I walk through the shadow, Your love surrounds me/There's nothing to fear now for I am safe with You"

Mike Donehey - "All Together" (Kevin)
Revealing dark truths about ourselves to others we're in community with is one of the hardest parts of starting recovery from addiction. It takes great courage and bravery to overcome the lies the enemy has been whispering for years–sometimes decades. Testing those real and present fears about being abandoned and forever judged by those around us feels like an impossible journey to begin.

Mike Donehey longs for that safe community inside the church. A community that's full of grace, where we can all exist and share about our current struggles, and not simply talk about what we've fully healed from. The enemy will do everything he can to convince you that's beyond your reach. As Mike says in the bridge of this brilliant track, there's only one way to find out.  

"Am I the only one who struggles here and now / Am I the only who wrestles with my doubt / And if I tell you all my secrets, will you go running out / There's only one way to find out."

Blessing Offor - "Brighter Days" (Paul)
The Nigerian-born singer/songwriter Blessing Offor has made waves with his single, "Brighter Days." It's a hit on Christian radio. This song meets you where you're at in your recovery. If you're still struggling, the lyrics give you some encouragement to keep fighting. Even if you've recovered, the song's a great way to reflect on what you've been through. Another way to praise God for your healing.
"I swear that love will find you in your pain/I feel it in me like the beating of life in my veins/I know there's gonna be some brighter days/I know there's gonna be some brighter days."


Alexander Pappas - "K.O." (Kevin)
Recovery is never a straight path. It's full of highs and lows, steps forward, and backward, slips and relapses, and a range of emotions and feelings that take you on a never-ending roller-coaster ride. Sometimes, the wind simply gets punched out of us in the process, and it hurts. Fear of trying again and failing one more time can keep us knocked down and out for the count. 

Alexander Pappas of Hillsong Young & Free released a striking track and accompanying music video about battling your demons (and, frankly, yourself) in an all-out knock-out fight and coming out ok. In recovery, you have to come to a point where you simply accept nothing less than moving forward–no matter the reality, no matter the cost. Keep going. There's victory ahead. 

"I don't want to stay here one more minute/I don't wanna stay if you're not in it/  don't want to wait here one more night/I don't wanna sit here all my life/I stumbled when it came down to the wire/ 'm not gonna cave under the pressure/I think I'm gonna be ok"

for KING & COUNTRY - "Relate" (Paul)
For me, "Relate" has a very convicting message. I lost close to 100 pounds a lifetime ago. While that's a victory, I still struggle with the fear of becoming overweight again. What I've overcome is something I can help others with, but I don't. Instead, I give others who struggle with weight gain a hard time. This leads me to believe that I haven't fully recovered. 
If you've recovered from addiction, illness, or trauma, you can help others. Take that opportunity, because, trust me, they can use your help. And while you may not be able to relate directly to their struggle, shame, guilt, and pain are almost entirely universal to the human experience. Start there. 
"I don't know what it's like to be you/You don't know what it's like to be me/What if we're all the same in different kinds of ways/We both know what it's like to be hurt/We both know what it's like to feel pain/But I think it's safe to say we're on to better days/Can you, can you relate?"

We Are Messengers - "Wholehearted" (Kevin)
Darren Mulligan of We Are Messengers has a history of writing songs that speak directly to our brokenness and constant need for God's grace in our life. Darren has been open about his past struggles with depression and sin, and even then, consistently finds himself needing God's presence in his imperfect life. 

He writes with raw honesty and "Wholehearted" is the story of unabashed grace that is so needed as we push our past away and reconnect with a God that does not see what we've done, but welcomes us to His table because of who we will become. What a gift and promise to hold on when the way out can't be seen. 
"Faithful when I'm at my worst/No I don't get what I deserve/Cause when I need grace/You give it wholehearted"

Tasha Layton - "Look What You've Done" (Paul)
The opening of contemporary artist Tasha Layton's song is very powerful: "Look what you've done/How could you fall so far?/You should be ashamed of yourself/So I was ashamed of myself." These are lies the enemy uses to keep you in chains. They take away your power of choice to recover. They prevent you from taking your battle to God. So, let this song remind you of what lies debilitate you, and let it empower you to take your struggles and challenges to the cross.
"Look what You've done/Look what You've done in me/You spoke Your truth into the lies I let my heart believe/Look at me now, look how You made me new/The enemy did everything that he could do/Oh, but look what You've done."

Micah Tyler - "Walking Free" (Kevin)
Micah Tyler partnered with Ground 40 for the official video of his song about breaking chains and walking free. Ground 40 helps men break the chains of homelessness, addiction, and incarceration through the power of Christ and the video shares real stories and testimonies of those who have walked the long road to freedom through recovery. We need stories of others who have walked before us and found victory from their stories. 
"When mercy called my name those chains fell at my feet/And now I'm walking free"

Cross Point Music - "Never Going Back" (Kevin)
When addictions are conquered, when pain is healed, when trauma is fully dealt with, there's a reason to celebrate. Cross Point Music writes about the freedom found from a past that will never be returned to. When we're able to truly walk away from shame, when the road back is destroyed, then freedom is found. Let's never forget to fully celebrate that victory with abandon. 
"I'm free/I'm never going back/Believing what you say about me/I'm never going back, never going back, never going back I'm free/These chains are underneath my feet/Shame ain't got a hold of me"

Lifehouse - "Simon" (Paul)
Many people never fully recover from bullying. The effects can be devastating. The lyrics in “Simon” by rock band Lifehouse say it all: "Refuse to feel anything at all/Refuse to slip/Refuse to fall/Can't be weak/Can't stand still/You watch your back because no one will."
Some people do recover from the effects of bullying. They can, as Psalm 46:10 states, be still. They can trust others, letting them see their vulnerabilities. They can trust God and believe that He'll help, support, and never abandon them. 
Me, when I was younger, I was a victim of bullying. I've learned to forgive many of my antagonists. But I still find it difficult to trust and care for others. "Simon" is a tearjerker, but it's so relatable to those who've been bullied. Plus, it gives words of affirmation and encouragement to those still struggling to recover. And to those who have recovered.
"You don't know why they had to go this far/Traded your worth for these scars/For your only company/And don't believe the lies that they have told to you/Yeah, not one word was true/You're all right, you're all right."

Paul Phillips is a Canadian journalist with almost 20 years of experience writing and editing digital and print content. He specializes in music, movies, fitness, and travel. He loves music, MCU, and of course, living for Jesus.

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