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Songs from IGNITE – You Alone Deliver

Written by Chris Skinner on

As College Park Worship anticipates the release of its EP, Dare to Hope, we’re sitting down with three of the songwriters to discuss how and why they crafted these original songs of lament. Hear the story behind the song, “You Alone Deliver,” by Chris Skinner:

1. What inspired or led you to write this song?

I’ve always been intrigued by Job’s declaration in Job 13:15, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.” I think this passage helps put words to the experience of suffering. Whether that suffering is caused by someone else, our own sin, or for seemingly no reason at all—the temptation is to turn away from God. We might want to be angry with him, run away from him, or forget about him altogether in our pain. The irony is that what we need most in these moments is him. Even though he allows hard things into our lives, the only real place to go is into his arms—with our pain, our fears, and even our complaints. That’s where we find what we long for in these moments. You Alone Deliver bounces back and forth between the tensions caused by sufferings in our lives and the declaration that God alone can deliver us.

2. Are there experiences in your life or the lives of others you know that informed the writing of this song?

There were a few experiences that played into it. The first was my own experience with suffering as a consequence of my sin. The second was considering how that sin brought suffering on those close to me, and how that affected their relationships with God. The third experience I tried to capture was all of the suffering a body of believers might encounter. I pictured our church full of people gathered to worship and wondered what kinds of suffering might be represented—cancer, loss of loved ones, seemingly unanswered prayers, physical sickness and pain, rejection or betrayal, on and on. As I considered all the ways that hard times might come upon people, I tried to capture as much of that as I could in the lyrics of the song.

3. What Scriptures played a role in this song’s composition?

Job 13:15 played a big role, as outlined above. Another one that really influenced me during this time was John 6:66-69. In this passage, many people who had been following Jesus deserted him when his teachings got hard and awkward. He asks the twelve disciples if they also wanted to leave and Peter answers, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” I love Peter’s honesty in the passage. He recognized that even though what they were facing was hard and others might be turning away, there was really no other place to go but right back to Jesus. Why? Because that’s where the words of eternal life are. This song is very much about that tension.

4. Was the writing process easy for this song, or was it a struggle? Why?

Back in August of 2018, I was at home one day and the chorus and bridge all spilled out at once. I took that idea to a songwriter’s retreat our Worship Arts Team held in October of that year, and there I worked with some other writers who helped me refine some of the lyrics and music. Then in December, in the middle of the workday, the lyrics for the verse started to pop into my head. I grabbed my phone as fast as I could to capture them. I grabbed a guitar a little bit later and it all sort of fell into place.

Personally, this song was sometimes a tough one to share with others and sing, because a lot of its inspiration does come from my own experience. It was hard to remember the pain I was feeling when the words originally came about. But the more I thought about how this could be a tool for God’s grace to touch the lives of people in our church who are going through hard times, the more excited I was to share it.

5. What do you hope the Church will see about God through this song?

I hope the Church will catch a vision for turning to the Lord in the midst of suffering. Even if Christians are hurting, angry, or so overcome with grief they can’t speak, I hope it will encourage them to recognize that God is not afraid of any of the emotion or doubt we carry in times of suffering. He is more than willing to meet us right where we are. I think we only prolong or worsen our pain when we hold a grudge against God or hide from him during hard seasons. The truth is, even in our grief, we can still sin. My prayer is that we will center our lives on Jesus when things are both good and bad.

Lyrics for You Alone Deliver

Verse 1

When my mortal body’s failing
When my hope is crushed by waiting              
When I’ve prayed and nothing’s changing              
Where can I go?
When my enemies surround me
When my fear and doubt would drown me           
 When my secret sins have found me              
Where can I go?

Chorus 1
Though You slay me, I will hope
There’s no other place to go
No other refuge, no covering                    
You alone deliver me

Verse 2
When injustice seems to triumph           
When my troubles look like giants               
When I all I hear from you is silence              
Where can I go?

Chorus 2
Though You slay me, I will hope
There’s no other place to go
No other refuge, no covering
You alone deliver me
Through the darkness and despair  
Full of anger, full of fear
I’ll remember, I will sing
You alone deliver me

Bridge
When I’m broken down
I will cling I will cling  
To the promise that you’ll lift me up  
When the road gets hard
I will sing I will sing
For your promises are still enough

 


“Dare to Hope” is available on iTunes starting Friday, Mar. 22.

Chris Skinner

Chris serves on the College Park Church Worship Arts Team as the Production Director. He is passionate about encouraging the church to gather and worship Christ. Chris enjoys spending time with his wife, kids, and Small Group.

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