Great God, We Sing That Mighty Hand

During my first year as a pastor, actually an interim pastor, at the Anson Community Church, in Anson, MO. I often drove to church on Sunday mornings with the prayer on my lips, "If it be within Your will Lord, please take me." I would have never committed suicide, nor would I make an accident happen, I would never want to hurt anyone else. Yet, I was so nervous about preaching, especially on weeks when I was less well prepared, that I often wished and even prayed that the Lord would take me home to heaven.

It was on one of the worst of those days that I arrived at the church in Anson, finding that other members of that church seemed almost equal in distress to myself. There was a lady who played the piano, who also picked our hymns, and that morning she couldn't find three hymns in time for the start of our morning service, which ALWAYS started promptly at 9:07am, NEVER a minute later. She said, "I'll tell you the closing hymn when you finish your sermon.

Well, the sermon went easier than I thought and I was approaching my conclusion when I noticed that the poem I meant to close with was gone! Being a young preacher, I was not yet good at faking things and obviously for maybe an entire minute, fumbled with my notes, before I said, "I had a poem I wanted to close with, but I can't find it." "We also don't have a closing hymn so I'll have to ask __________." Well, I asked her what song she found and she said it was a song they had never sang before. As we sang through it, I realized that the fourth stanza of it was actually my poem.

In scenes exalted or depressed
Be Thou our Joy and Thou our Rest.
Thy goodness all our hopes shall raise,
Adored through all our changing days.

With great joy I told the congregation that we had actually sung the poem I had intended to share, and read it again from the page of the hymnal it was on. Plus, on that "distressed" day, God actually was our JOY and REST, as He is at all times.

Sincerely in Christ,
Arnold Brevick

Great God, We Sing That Mighty Hand

Philip Doddridge
click on Pastor Doddridge's name for more of his hymns,
a short biography, music to this song, and more.
His hymns are well worth a long look

1. Great God, we sing that mighty hand
By which supported still we stand.
The opening year Thy mercy shows;
Let mercy crown it till it close.

2. By day, by night, at home, abroad,
Still we are guarded by our God,
By His incessant bounty fed,
By His unerring counsel led.

3. With grateful hearts the past we own;
The future, all to us unknown,
We to Thy guardian care commit
And, peaceful, leave before Thy feet.

4. In scenes exalted or depressed
Be Thou our Joy and Thou our Rest.
Thy goodness all our hopes shall raise,
Adored through all our changing days.

5. When death shall interrupt our songs,
And seal in silence mortal tongues,
Our Helper, God, in whom we trust,
In better worlds our soul shall boast.



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