God Hath Not Promised (Alternate Tune)

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.
Ana Lara

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.

Frank Pytel

Chicago, Illinois, United States

How unusually hard the environment can be, but how wonderful that the peace of God can be within my heart at the same time!