This past weekend when we were up in Virginia visiting the Schanelys, we went to church with them. As we sang the words of "How firm a foundation", I (Gavin) was just struck by the power and truth of the words.
The first verse rings true personally and is also such an affirmation of our work to aid and speed the Bible translation.
The fifth verse, though, really hits me where I am now-- or at least where I anticipate I will be once the Quints come. I don't think I'm looking at it as a fiery trial, necessarily, but it will indeed be a challenge and a time for Him my gold to refine and my dross to consume.
The sixth verse speaks what my prayer is-- that His Spirit working through us will "prove [His] sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love."
Here are the full lyrics.
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?
In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.
Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and 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 woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
When through fiery trials thy pathways 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.
Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.
by John Rippon, 1787; attributed variously to John Keene, Kirkham, and John Keith