The Necessity of Beauty When Confronting Evil

By Julie Roys
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How do we keep our souls healthy when we regularly see so much corruption and evil?

That’s always a challenge. But I think this past season has been especially tough because we’ve seen so much corruption in a place it shouldn’t exist—the church. And though many churches and church leaders exemplify the gospel, it’s so easy to get demoralized by those that don’t.

Someone recently commented on my blog that she feels “like the spouse who is confronted with the betrayal of her partner. Confused, hurt, angry, untrusting, foolish, exhausted, violated.” My heart breaks for this person and for so many others who feel just like her.

“I was discussing this struggle once with a close friend, and he urged me that especially considering my work as an investigative journalist, I need to take in beauty as a regular discipline.”

It’s hard to resist cynicism when confronting so much evil. Yet cynicism is a devastating disease of the soul. None of us want to become hardened. We want to remain open and receptive before God.

I was discussing this struggle once with a close friend, and he urged me that especially considering my work as an investigative journalist, I need to take in beauty as a regular discipline. At first, that seemed odd. Take in beauty? What does that even mean?

Yet, it’s Scriptural. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” I’ve found that the more I practice this discipline of beauty, the healthier my soul becomes.

So now, I try to take in beauty daily by running on a beautiful path, picking flowers and putting them in vases throughout the house, watching an inspirational movie, or reading the Psalms.

But perhaps what’s most impactful for me is listening to music. But not just any music. What especially does it for me are songs about heaven. These songs remind me that my pain is temporary, but heaven is forever. And though so much seems broken now, some day, it will all be redeemed.

My guess is that many of you could use some refreshing today. So I’m posting some of my favorite songs about heaven and praying God uses them to revive your soul like they revive mine.

1. Deep Enough to Dream by Chris Rice. I absolutely love this song. Close your eyes and allow visions of heaven to fill your imagination. Trust me, you’ll feel 10 times better.

 

2. Heaven Song by Phil Wickam. “I hear Your voice and I catch my breath. Well done my child enter in, in rest. As tears of joy roll down my cheek . It’s beautiful beyond my wildest dreams.” Ya, I’m looking forward to that.

 

3. When We All Get to Heaven by Casting Crowns. Such a simple and sweet rendition of this classic hymn. Reminds me of my mother. Can’t wait to see her again in glory. 

 

4. When I Get Where I’m Going by Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton. Speaking of seeing loved ones again, there’s this country song by Brad Paisley. I actually discovered this song while looking for videos of my other favorites, and now I have a new one. I suspect this will be the only appearance of Dolly Parton on my blog. 

 

5. I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me. A song so moving, it inspired a movie–and a really good movie at that.

 

6. Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful by Keith Green. No Christian artist has impacted my walk with the Lord more than Keith Green. His straight-up admonition to live without compromise challenged me immensely as a teenager and young adult. This isn’t a heaven song. (He has one, but it’s not one of my favorites.) But this is a beauty song, so I’m including it. Plus, what he says at the beginning of this recording is so apropos. Listen and be blessed.

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22 thoughts on “The Necessity of Beauty When Confronting Evil”

  1. Julie – Thanks for sharing this. I’d add “When the Stars Burn Down (Blessing and Honor)” by Phillips, Craig, and Dean and “Holy (Wedding Day)” by The City Harmonic.

  2. Oh Julie – this is so beautiful!!! I would add the Kristian Stanfill/Passion song “Even So Come”. It makes me long for Jesus’ return.

  3. Julie, thank you for these. I’ve been following you with admiration for a while, and i appreciate how you see beauty as the balance for the ugliness of evil. (I love how getting to see God work in various ways acts as another balance for the awfulness of the evil.) I’m looking forward to listening to these songs.

  4. Julie
    Thank you for sharing this. Coming home from a peaceful day of boating and fishing.
    Listened to these songs and my soul is worshipping and refreshed by the Lord.

  5. legalbeagledeb

    Thank you for this Julie! I appreciate your work and look forward to your posts! This one was so refreshing!

  6. Michele Veldman

    Yes. Amen. We worship Him in the beauty of holiness and keeping that in mind is so hard…. Thank you for sharing and helping me turn my eyes upon Jesus…

  7. thanks for the beautiful gift—turn your eyes upon Jesus and look into his beautiful face

  8. Arlene johnson

    Dear Julie -thank you for this blog. I was about to do my quiet time and I opened your email just in time and Played the songs that you shared throughout my quiet time. I appreciate you very much. For your information Pastor James was my pastor for 25 years and my heart breaks as to what’s going on. I’ve been in Dallas now for three years and connected with a beautiful church. I’m not sure of course if you remember me but I’m a friend of Sheryl Nuygen and we were introduced several times . I miss her so much! I’m praying for you and the good work that you’re doing. With love,

  9. I teared up when I saw you included Keith Green. Yes to all you said about him.
    Thank you for everything you’re doing, Julie.

  10. Thanks, Julie….for your words and for sharing these songs. Keith Green’s ‘O Lord, You’re Beautiful’ has touched my heart for years…..I’ve never heard this rendition, nor the words he spoke at the beginning. It blessed me greatly!

  11. What a great post and one I needed to read. Beauty is a great medic in the face of ugliness and evil. Great authors like CS Lewis are good to read too. I’m constantly reminded of That Hideous Strength during these times.

    And Arlene—small world! It was through HBC I met you and Sheryl and did volunteer work for you several years ago. I appreciate you both and really enjoyed working you! I did not attend HBC but the crisis has been on my mind and I’ve been interceding for it as the Lord leads. I ran into Cheryl last year at her old church. (Miss her too!) Our family found a great church too that is a sister church to her former one.

    Remember everybody the Lord is beautiful and He gives Beauty for ashes!

  12. COME THOU FONT OF EVERY BLESSING is one of my favorites from the JOHN 10:10 PROJECT. They have many beautiful short videos of nature and Christian praise music. The 2 men who founded this company were formerly employees of “Moody Institute of Science” and worked on the old “Moody Films” in years past.

    https://thejohn1010project.com/living-water.html

  13. Kimberly Chastain

    Keith Green was a part of my teen and college years. His station is on my Pandora. I introduced his songs to my children and they love his music as well. It is nice to see he is still remembered and his authentic Christian walk.

  14. Julie, thank you so much for sharing these beautiful songs of hope and joy! I’ve so very depressed lately, and listening to these songs has uplifted my hands and spirit! It has been a very hard 3 years for my family and me. And physically, I am in constant pain. But listening to these songs, I realize the hope that is in the Lord. God bless you, Julie!

  15. Thank you for this refreshing blog entry. It’s a pleasant and necessary break from all the previous stuff that you have diligently written and posted.

  16. Julie, thanks for the reminder, words and music of encouragement. Too many times what we see on the news, read in the newspaper and see what is happening in the church is quite depressing. We get so easily detracted and forget that God is in control. We have our own journey and responsibility to live holy lives. Great song selection and will hold you to your word about Dolly.:)

  17. This probably dates me some, but I would like to add John W. Peterson’s song “It Will Be Worth It All”. A pleasant reminder of some of the future joys of Heaven.

  18. Thanks, Julie, for this well written reminder of age old truth. I too loved Keith Green ‘s songs…prophetic in many ways.
    Keep up the good work, with the glory of God always your goal…

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