In church this morning, we sang an old hymn, and I was struck once again with the timelessness of the promises of God. My heart was encouraged as I reflected on the security that God provides and His great faithfulness to His children.
With a history dating back to the late 1700s, How Firm a Foundation has comforted Christians throughout the years. It still speaks of the strength of God’s presence and help in our turbulent world. The authorship has been attributed to Robert Keen in some hymnals, but the original publication did not give a full author’s name. Some copies simply reference John Rippon’s Selection of Hymns, which was published in 1787. While the number of stanzas varies in different hymnals, the message of hope and assurance rings true in the life of the believer.
I’m not sure what you are facing or going through today, but I pray that these words will strengthen you as you realize the promises of God.
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word?
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
“Fear not! I am with thee; O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.
“When through fiery trials thy pathway 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.
“The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!”
The following Scriptures provide the source of much of the message in the hymn:
Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 8 And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
II Corinthians 12:9 And He said unto me (Paul), My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
What favorite hymn has touched your heart?