#247 - "My Hope Is In You" by Aaron Shust
NRT Contributor Kevin Davis speaks with Aaron about the personal story that shapes his latest single.

Aaron Shust's latest album, This Is What We Believe retains a poetic simplicity, even amidst a warm and sometimes adventurous sound architecture. It’s vintage Aaron Shust, to be sure, but with Cash at the helm, the familiar textures seem to fall together in new ways.

“Ed really pushed me out of my comfort zone,” Aaron explains. “He could hear possibilities in the melodies and even in my voice that I hadn’t explored before. He had me singing more passionately, less precisely, higher, louder and even more quietly than I ever had before. And it worked. This Is What We Believe is an honest reflection of who I am as an artist, but Ed managed to draw that out and express it in ways that never would have occurred to me. It was a great collaboration.”

The dynamic of that collective chemistry seems to have yielded Aaron’s strongest collection of songs to date. The entire project feels seamless and intentional, including standout recordings like the hauntingly accessible "My Hope Is In You" (written by April Geesbreght), and the lose-yourself-in-the-moment sing-ability of "Your Majesty."

I had the great opportunity to interview Aaron about his hit song “My Hope Is In You.”

Please describe the message behind recording the song "My Hope Is In You.”

We had chosen seven songs that I’d written and approved for the album, so I knew that I had three more songs to write. There were two that I knew I could finish, but the idea of starting from scratch on a third one just made me want to take a nap. I was wide open to outside songs at that point. My producer Ed Cash told me that he had a song written by a girl named April Geesbreght that he and his family have had stuck in their heads for about six months. He told me that he hadn’t pitched it to any artists yet, but felt it might be perfect for my album considering where I was in my life. I played April’s version for my wife and she looked at me and said, “You need to record that song.” I listen to my wife. And I thoroughly love singing and playing this song.

Do you have any Bible verses that tie-in to the message of the song?

All of Psalm 121: I will lift up my eyes to the hills—from whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.

...and Psalm 25:5: Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

What's the takeaway message of the song for you personally?

Everything about recording this album and this song wasn’t how we planned. My wife and my two-year-old son, Nicky, were living in a hospital ,where my son was being fed through tubes because he couldn’t keep down any food or drink for more than two seconds, and the doctors were running out of options to treat him. He was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis, a rare and extremely painful condition, where he was unable to take in any nutrition. Doctors tried multiple food formulas but his body rejected all of them. He had to spend months in the hospital. Our older son was with friends all the time and my grandmother was dying.

Finally, when the last available option was tried, his body accepted it. But he still had to be fed through a tube that bypassed his stomach. Doctors explained that Nicky would have to be on steroids for the rest of his life to manage the pain. Then, I’m thrilled to report that our son had miraculously been fully healed. The doctors had no explanation. It was as if he never had the condition. What was considered to be a permanent disease seemed to have disappeared. It was truly a miracle.

During the entire ordeal, I became acutely aware of my utter dependency on God and my need to daily, constantly, embrace His promises and His presence. Over the years I’ve written a lot of songs speaking to my own soul the way David did in the Psalms: “Why are you downcast? Put your hope in God.” The album and this song come out of a difficult season for me and my family personally, and they are declarations about who God is and who we are in Him because of His great love for us. This song is about praising Him simply for who he is. To witness your own child being healed of something that doctors told you was permanent, painful and incurable—just totally moves my heart to worship God.

Here are the lyrics:

I meet with You and my soul sings out
As your word throws doubt far away
I sing to You and my heart cries
Father, You’re near!”

My hope is in You, Lord
All the day long
I won’t be shaken by drought or storm
A peace that passes understanding is my song
And I sing
My hope is in You, Lord

I wait for You and my soul finds rest
In my selfishness, You show me grace
I worship You and my heart cries “Glory
Father You’re here!”

My hope is in You, Lord
All the day long
I won’t be shaken by drought or storm
A peace that passes understanding is my song
And I sing
My hope is in You, Lord

I will wait on You
You are my refuge
I will wait on You
You are my refuge

My hope is in You, Lord
All the day long
I won’t be shaken by drought or storm
My hope is in You, Lord
All the day long
I won’t be shaken by drought or storm
A peace that passes understanding is my song
And I sing
My hope is in You, Lord
My hope is in You, Lord
My hope is in You, Lord

Here’s Matthew Henry’s commentary on Psalm 121: “We must not rely upon men and means, instruments and second causes. Shall I depend upon the strength of the hills? Upon great men? No, my confidence is in God only. Or, we must lift up our eyes above the hills; we must look to God who makes all earthly things to us what they are. We must see all our help in God; from Him we must expect it, in His own way and time. This Psalm teaches us to comfort ourselves in the Lord, when difficulties and dangers are greatest. It is almighty wisdom that contrives, and almighty power that works the safety of those that put themselves under God's protection.”

Similar to The Museum’s “My Help Comes From The Lord,” the song is based on the truth of the Psalms. I can’t get enough of the Biblical truth of the song and I love when artists take Gods’ Word from the Bible and turn it into a great and catchy song filled with truth. I sing this song to God with all of my heart and know that “My hope is in You, Lord, all the day long.” This timeless passage, Psalm 121, has application for us today as we live in uncertain times. Know that God is your refuge and your hope comes from the Lord. Amen.

(You can watch the video of the song here.) 

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.

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