How firm my foundation?

I have a special place in my soul for the hymn “How Firm a Foundation”, especially the latter verses. I think we sing this absent-mindedly, and don’t recognize the significance of this hymn. This is one of a handful of hymns where, instead of us speaking to God, God speaks to us. It is beautiful and humbling to contemplate His words:

Fear not, I am with thee; oh, 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 the deep waters I call thee to go, the rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow, for I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless, and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

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.

E’en down to old age, all my people shall prove my sov’reign, eternal, unchangeable love; And then, when gray hair shall their temples adorn, like lambs shall they still in my bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes; That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!

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