In the world we live in, hope can be hard to find. Looking around, we quickly encounter despair, injustice, sickness and poverty, among other things. As believers, however, we have true hope, and that is where our focus should be.
In their latest release, Hope Is Alive, New Hope Oahu has compiled a collection of music that focuses on our true hope, Jesus Christ. Incorporating the sound of the Hawaiian Islands, as well as driving-guitar rock and gospel elements, the team presents songs that communicate hope and enthrone Christ in the center of it all.
The title track is a powerful anthem that focuses on God’s faithfulness, goodness and the power of His presence. The bridge includes elements of the classic hymn “The Solid Rock,” declaring “all other ground is sinking sand.”
“Glorious Cross” is a soft yet powerful reminder that our hope comes through Jesus and the abundant grace He gave through His blood. In Him we are free, and sin is defeated.
“Angels Sing” (originally recorded by Press Play) is a beautiful anthem of all Jesus is and all He has done for us to set us free. In light of His love and sacrifice, how can we do anything less but love Him completely?
With the gentle strands of the Doxology, a soft Hawaiian narration leads the listener to soak in the presence of God and worship Jesus from the very depths of the soul. This is “How We Worship,” with all that we are, as “we stand in awe of the one true God.”
“Praise the Lord” (also originally recorded by Press Play) is an upbeat hymn of praise and surrender to all that the Holy Spirit wants to do in our lives.
“Lord of All,” featuring Cindy Cruse Ratcliff, declares that Jesus is our King and Lord who makes all things new. “All of creation shines with Your glory,” and tells of the worth of our God.
With a simple gospel feel, “Please You” is a heart’s cry to be more and more like Jesus. The gentle and quiet prayer leads listeners into a time of reflection, meditation and total surrender.
“Speechless,” featuring Pastor Wayne Cordeiro, is a bright gospel song that celebrates God’s amazing grace that can take your breath away. It is “unending, but always on time,” and what we can place our hope in.
The crux of the album is summarized in the final song, “Jesus at the Center,” featuring Adam Ranney. When we place our trust in Jesus and surrender to Him completely, we will find that “Nothing else matters / Nothing in this world will do.” The song builds to the powerful bridge that declares: “From my heart to the heavens / Jesus be the center / It’s all about You.”
This collection of music is both simple and powerful. The truth is that our source of hope is Jesus, and our response to His love, glory and majesty is worship and love. With a mixture of styles, this album can be used as a tool for corporate worship and youth worship services alike.
Reviewed by: Leslie Kiesel, assisting minister at Family Worship Center (York Foursquare Church) in York, Pa.