God's Grace and Your
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faith and love shine most clearly, simply and courageosuly in a dark
- When you are in that dark place,
hold that suffering in one hand and this hymn (How Firm a
Foundation) in the other:
- Stanza 1
- How firm a foundation, ye saints
of the Lord,
- Is laid for your faith in His
- What more can He say than to you
He hath said,
- You, who unto Jesus for refuge
- Stanza 2
- " Fear not, I am with thee,
O be not dismayed,
- For I am thy God and will still
give thee aid;
- Ill strengthen and help
thee, and cause thee to stand
- Upheld by My righteous,
- Stanza 3
- "When through the deep
waters I call thee to go,
- The rivers of woe shall not
- For I will be with thee, thy
troubles to bless,
- And sanctify to thee thy depest
- Stanza 4
- "When through fiery trials
thy pathways shall lie,
- My grace, all sufficient, shall
be thy supply;
- The flame shall not hurt thee;
I only design
- Thy dross to consume, and thy
gold to refine."
- Stanza 5
- "Even down to old age all
My people shall prove
- My sovereign, eternal,
- And when hoary hairs shall
their temples adorn
- , Like lambs they shall still in
My bosom be borne."
- Stanza 6
- "The soul that on Jesus
has leaned for repose,
- I will not, I will not desert
to its foes;
- That soul, though all hell
should endeavor to shake,
- Ill never, no never, no
- Stanzas 2
-6 - This is God speaking to us in our suffering - - we sing it - -but
it's actually us listening to God (note that stanzas 2- 6 include quotes)... A
sufferer's primal need is to hear God talking and experince Him purposely at
- Stanza 2
-- when we suffer, it tends to result in a number of bad reactions. But
here, we are listening to God, and He has something else to say. In stanza 2,
God makes 7 promnises to us in our suffering - - which closely paraphrases
- I am with you.
- I am your God.
- I will still give you
- I will strengthen you.
- I will help you.
- I will cause you to
- I will uphold you by my
all-good, all powerful hand.
- Stanza 3 - Words from Isaiah 43:2 weave throughout
stanza 3 with 4 truths:
- God himself calls you into the
deep waters of your life.
- God sets a limit on the
- God is with you actively,
bringing good from your troubles.
- In distressing events, God
changes you to be like Him.
- Stanza 4 - Our sinfulness has also become a
significant suffering in this stanza. The "fiery trial" comes from
Isaiah 43:2 but the stanza's core promise comes from 1 Peter 1:6-9. God shows
that He designs significant suffering for 3 reasons:
- To reveal His abiding
- To remove all that is
un-generous in you.
- To make you abidingly
- The comment on the dross is
important - indwelling sin is your worst cancer, most crippling disability,
most treacherous enemy, and the single most most destructive force in your
- Stanza 5 - All that we've looked at continues down to
old age - - aging will bring us into the shadow of death, the last enemy.... It
shows great sensitivity to the human condition to write a hymn about growing
- Stanza 6 - You also have foes from hell.....In the
stanza, the word "repose" does not mean a state of peace and
tranquility, it means actively placing the weight of your life on Jesus. The
key? He will never, ever forsake us !
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