HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION                                                          written in 1787

The Story

The author of this hymn is unknown; it is attributed to “K”, and is believed to be George Keith or R. Keen. When it was first published, it was entitled “Scripture Promises”. Each verse of the song emphasizes a different promise on God’s Word. Verse 1 is a reference to 2Peter 1:4; verse 2 to Isaiah 41:10; verse 3 to Isaiah 43:2; verse 4 to 2Corinthians 12:9; and verse 5 to Hebrews 13:5. The final 2 verses seem to have been personal comforts confessed by the author.

This hymn was sung at the funerals of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson; the promises of this hymn brought great comfort to their families.

The Song

            Read this hymn, and make these promises your own!

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.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

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