“How Firm a Foundation” (ELW 796)
1 How firm a foundation, O saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in Christ Jesus, the Word!
What more can he say than to you he has said
who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?
2 “Fear not, I am with you, oh, be not dismayed,
for I am your God and will still give you aid;
I’ll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand,
upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.”
3 “When through fi’ry trials your pathway shall lie,
my grace, all-sufficient, shall be your supply.
The flames shall not hurt you; I only design
your dross to consume and your gold to refine.”
4 “Throughout all their lifetime my people shall prove
my sov’reign, eternal, unchangeable love;
and then, when gray hairs shall their temples adorn,
like lambs they shall still in my bosom be borne.”
I find this hymn to be of great comfort in whatever I’m facing and whatever troubles I’m having. The foundation of the life of the Christian is Jesus—nothing else. Once the gospel of Jesus has grabbed us, there’s nothing more to say (stanza 1).
Through Jesus, we have the promise of God: “Fear not, I am with you, oh, be not dismayed, for I am your God, and will still give you aid” (stanza 2).
Through Jesus, we are assured that in the struggles of life, God doesn’t intend to destroy us, but to refine our faith, causing us to rely even more on Jesus’ all-sufficient grace (stanza 3).
And through Jesus, even the effects of aging won’t be able to separate us from God’s grace and love in Jesus. Even in old age we’ll still be heirs of God’s promises and still be carried in Jesus’ arms (stanza 4).
Help us, O God, to stand more firmly on the foundation of Jesus each day. Amen.