“There are many expressions of worship and praise,” and it’s not always sunshine and happiness. Sometimes, worship is about praise in the midst of pain, faith in the midst of devastating fire. While Lincoln Brewster is known for big worship anthems, virtuosic guitar solos, and hits like “Made New” and “Love the Lord,” the veteran worship leader is no stranger to pain either.
Hard times will come, but we can choose our posture, and that’s exactly the idea Brewster explores in his tenth album God of the Impossible. Drawing inspiration from the massive devastation of the recent California wildfires, the deep pain faced by friends in his church, and his love for his wife and children, Brewster hopes to give the church the songs they need to find encouragement.
CCM Magazine: What’s one thing you want everybody to know about the new record?
Lincoln Brewster: There’s a lot of special moments in this group of songs. One of my favorites is “While I Wait”… it talks about going through difficult times and choosing our posture before God. That song talks about worshipping as a response to the challenge, acknowledging that you know God’s got it all figured out, but your miracle hasn’t showed up yet. It’s about choosing to worship and trust God, not needing to understand everything.
I think as we grow as people, sometimes early Christianity is a really sweet time, but it can also be a bit “Happy Fun Camp Jesus.” And then as we grow and experience confusing things, our faith starts to change, and we realize it means something different than it did 15 or 20 years ago.
Do I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God will always keep me from any harm? No, I don’t know that. That’s not always a popular thing to say, but I trust God, and I know God has my best interests in mind.
CCM: So in a way are these songs more like lament than “Happy Fun Camp Jesus”?
LB: This whole record is full of reminders because we often forget what we know. I know I do this. I react to something or get discouraged, and really it’s a result of forgetting what I know to be true. But when I remind myself of what I actually know — that God loves me, God’s for me, I have eternal life in heaven with Christ — when I go down the list, then things don’t feel quite as bad. I was trying to dive way down into the waters and make a deep album that isn’t depressing, though it’s easy to go there.
CCM: That’s interesting, because I hear a lot of joy in this album. It’s not dark… it feels joyful while acknowledging that tension.
LB: And I think that’s what church should be. People get freaked out by church when it feels fake, and it feels fake when we ignore reality, that life is complex, joyful, painful, everything in between, and all of that is okay. It’s okay to feel what you feel. But how do we respond? That’s what the postures are all about. Worship, pray, and serve.
I have friends who have gone through horrible, painful things. I’ve watched tragedy take people down and they never recover from it. They weren’t able to grieve and recover, and they were sort of rendered ineffective. So the songs “While I Wait” and “God of the Impossible”… those are songs that don’t ignore suffering and pain, but embrace it and offer an action, a posture as a response.
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