God Hath Not Promised (1)
|God hath not promised skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
|But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love.
|God hath not promised we shall not know
Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;
He hath not told us we shall not bear
Many a burden, many a care.
|God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
Never a mountain, rocky and steep,
Never a river, turbid and deep.
As an elderly person, I have passed through a great many different experiences in human life. Many unpleasant things have happened to me. There is no such thing as a life without difficulties. As the line from a hymn says, "God hath not promised skies always blue" (Hymns, #720). But although I have passed through many situations of unhappiness and unpleasantness, I have been a happy person because I have the Lord Jesus. Even the demons can testify that I am happy in the Lord. I do not have the Lord Jesus merely in an objective way as the One in the heavens. My Christ is both in the heavens and also in me. Hallelujah, Christ lives in me, and I can breathe Him, drink of Him, and feast upon Him! Daily I enjoy the best breathing, drinking, and eating.
As fallen ones, we may have the fallen natural concept that if we fear God, serve Him, love Him, and follow Him, we will prosper in everything; the unhealthy will become healthy and the foolish will become wise. However, God has not promised this. Hymns, #720 was written by an experienced Christian. Verse 1 and the chorus say,
Many times, God has placed those who love Him into trials and sufferings that they may experience more of Him. When everything is calm and peaceful, we seldom think of enjoying God and know very little about experiencing the Lord. Only when we fall into sufferings can we be humbled to trust the Lord wholeheartedly, call on Him, and enjoy Him.
My friend passed 11 years ago and I was lost and constantly in my feelings but after finding this hymn it really gave me the strength to keep pushing forward. And knowing that I am never alone. Lord thank you for giving us the strength for the day.
Myrtle Beach, SC, United States
Wow! I never knew this was a song!
Boise, Idaho, United States
Besides the encouraging lyrics, the melody is moving and poignant.
Lord, thank you for always being there for your children. Thank you for your strength for the day, rest for our labor, light for our way, grace for our trials, help from above, unfailing sympathy, and your undying love. Thank you for always providing your love even at the times when we do not deserve it.
Tolland, Connecticut, United States
Annie Johnson Flint's life was marked with a series of tragedies that inspired her to write poetry and hymns which are still enjoyed today. (1866-1932).
Annie was born on December 25th, 1866 - a year after the Civil War was over- In the small town of Vineland New Jersey to Eldon and Jean Johnson. When she was 3, her mother died giving birth to Annie’s baby sister. Mr. Johnson who himself was suffering from an incurable illness, willed the children to the Flint family who would bring them up in the Baptist Faith.
At age eight, Annie attended a revival meeting which brought her to faith in Christ. The Spirit of God came upon her and she was converted. At 10, she joined the church and never doubted “the eternal work was then wrought. ” She strongly believed that children could comprehend spiritual truths and that divine mysteries were often plainer to the simple faith of a child than to many adults blinded by their own concepts and intellectual doubts.
After high school, she spent one year in teacher training and was offered a position. In her second year of teaching, arthritis began to show itself. Her condition worsened until she could hardly walk and soon she was forced to leave teaching. The next 3 years Annie experienced continued lack of movement. This was followed by the death of her adoptive parents within a few months of each other leaving her and her younger sister alone again. There was little money in the bank and the twice-orphaned sisters came to a real “Red Sea” place in their lives.
Annie Flint’s verses provided solace for her in the long hours of suffering. Then she began making hand-lettered cards and gift books and decorating some of her own verses. Testimonies came from many directions of blessings received so two card publishers printed some of her greetings and released the first little brochure of her poems. The publication of her booklets and the action of the “Sunday School Times” linked her up with a world wide fellowship and she carried most of the correspondence, though one wonders how she was able to write with those twisted fingers. Her letters were as rich as her poems, always bringing a touch of humor that was refreshing.
Annie learned how to share the hard moments of her life with others who could not understand life’s hardships. She put into poetry “What God Hath Promised” and through these words she became convinced that God intended to glorify Himself through her in her weak earthen vessel; and like Paul, she gained real assurance and could say like the apostle “And He had said to me My grace is sufficient for you for My power is perfected in weakness”. She could affirm “Most gladly therefore I will rather boast in my weaknesses that the power of Christ might tabernacle over me”(2 Corinthians12:9). She believed God laid her aside for a purpose even though that purpose was at times obscure.
The marvelous thing is that Annie’s faith never faltered and that at all times she was able to say, “Thy will be done. ”
www. homecomingmagazine. com (excerpts)
Other hymns of hers in this hymnal are: Christ is the Alpha of our Prayers, He Giveth More Grace, I Will Not Be Afraid, Pressed Out of Measure, and Though We are Often Tossed.
Auburn, California, United States
When I was young I used to have a bookmark with these lyrics. I am happy to discover that it is a hymn.
Palm Desert, CA, United States
Thank You Lord, for not making it easy for us. we always fall but have You to speak to. Always for Your Unfailing sympathy and undying love
bless all the Saints, in One Body.
Orange, CA, United States
My wife and I have agreed to take in our adult daughter, son-in-law, 2 year old grand-daughter, and 18 year old grandson to live with us for six months. At the same time both of our families are moving into an accommodating house my wife and I own. The move offers many new challenges. I woke up in the middle of the night, last night, with this thought: "You opened the door. Let me guide you through it." I felt the thought was from God. Then this morning, this old song from my childhood came to me. I searched for its lyrics, found them here, and revisited singing it. Thank you God for inspiring its writing and helping me recall important childhood truths. Please do "lead us" heavenly father.
Austin, Texas, United States
Lord, be our inner strength daily.
Ocala, Florida, United States
My mother's favorite.