Written by: Laura Chambers (10/7/2016)
Exchanging one season of life for the next one is no easy task. You’re often ill-prepared for the transition, no matter how long you’ve known the day was coming. There are possessions and mindsets to shed, people to say goodbye to, new mantles to wear…it can quickly become overwhelming unless you have someone unchanging to cling to. Friends, family and co-workers, despite their faithful support, just won’t suffice. It is only when we put down roots in Christ that we can be sustained whichever way His Spirit directs us. Paul Baloche is a veteran worship leader and knows well the sweetness of simple faith. Your Mercy modestly lifts praises towards the Lord, with a steadfast wisdom born of years of experience pursuing and promoting holiness.
“Psalm 92 (It Is Good)” celebrates celebration. God’s love, faithfulness and many deeds are given as reasons to sing His praises. Its simple structure allows one to easily slip into the song at any point and ride along with it. “Once For All” shows us Jesus dying on the cross, emphasizing the fact that His sacrifice was complete and doesn’t need to be repeated. Though innocent of sin, He was willing to bear the suffering we deserved. I can imagine a live (large) concert arrangement of this song would be awesome. “Found In You” invites God to enter into our minds and make us awestruck. We can discover everything we require in Him. A steady beat supports this song throughout. “I Will Worship You” vows to continue worshipping God during trials and moments of doubt. While many may consider it an illogical move, the song goes on to explain that God is the only thing that can keep us grounded. Praising Him in the joyful moments seems even more natural when you’ve just come out of the fire. Energy explodes in an expression of pure praise at the end.
“Your Mercy” is the catalyst in what would otherwise be a hopeless situation. Tenderly sung and felt, gratitude turns the chorus towards surrender. Being lovingly cared for by God compels us to desire true change from the heart up. “Songs Of The People” is also a track on the recently released Prestonwood Worship album (which I reviewed two weeks prior to this). There is nothing that can hinder our praises, whether we are newly rescued or have remained under the banner of grace for a long time. “We Come To You Jesus” describes Jesus as the antithesis of our troubled selves. For this reason, we cannot help coming to Him, even in our imperfect states, giving ourselves away to Him. There, we find acceptance and unconditional welcome. Like a comforting embrace from His arms, this song gives us assurance that we will be received as we are. “God Evermore” paints a holy picture of God using Biblical brushstrokes of authority and glory. The titular term seems to have a double meaning; God’s infinite nature and the continuation of our praises into eternity.
“Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (We Turn)” rejuvenates the hymn with a response that acknowledges God’s voice and presence. It further proceeds to do as the song recommends, instead of merely offering good advice. “To The Cross I Come” abandons all pretense and burdens in favor of the cleansing Christ offers at the cross. Borrowing from the hymn “Just As I Am” for the chorus, the song turns from our surrender to Jesus’ shouldering of our sins and subsequent victory over them. All Sons and Daughters guest on this track, which they also co-wrote; always a good thing. “More Than I Deserve” lists out all the benefits of being redeemed and loved by God, noting that everything He has given us is a gift we could never merit on our own. It came at such a high cost and blesses us in so many ways. This, to me, is one of the standout tracks on this album; it has a chorus made for multiple joyful repetitions. “Peace On Earth” completes the album by bringing God our confession of fear and willful ignorance, then recognizes that we can have unity in Christ. The chorus is a simple prayer that doesn’t directly mention Christmas, making it a good song for days of remembrance as well.
Done right, worship music has the power to accompany our deepest moments of introspection, color penance and surrender, or lift our rawest prayers heavenward. And it need not be accomplished through grand Technicolor spectacles; all that is needed is our honest exaltation. Paul Baloche, like a master craftsman, selects a variety of images and phrases to express the longings of a heart that has seen God’s hand at work over and over again. Your Mercy discreetly and blissfully brings honor to God’s name.