A Hymn for Bittersweet Moments

Dec 05, 2023

My husband's brother passed away in early November and yet a church luncheon, a pre-planned weekend getaway with friends, family get-togethers and Christmas event preparation all went on between that time and his funeral that happened over the weekend

It's truly been a month of joyful moments and sad ones. Bittersweetness.

This time of year is indeed an especially joyful season when we remember the Reason, and yet as I've been reminded of lately, it can also be difficult as we think of loved ones who are no longer with us.

Nearly 400 years ago, a German man named George Neumark wrote a hymn that after translation to English became a classic among hymn lovers. 

He was personally acquainted with loss, yet chose to remain steadfast in His trust in the Lord, writing over thirty hymns, including "If Thou But Suffer God to Thee."

If you can relate to the bittersweetness of the season, I encourage you to read it below. God is guiding us every moment. How hope-giving is that?


If Thou But Suffer God to Thee (more modern translation from The Psalter Hymnal, 1987)

by George Neumark (1641), originally translated by Catherine Winkworth (1863)

If you but trust in God to guide you,
And place your confidence in Him,
You’ll find Him always there beside you
To give you hope and strength within;
For those who trust God’s changeless love
Build on the Rock that will not move.

Only be still and wait His pleasure
In cheerful hope, with heart content:
He fills your needs to fullest measure
With what discerning love has sent;
Doubt not our inmost wants are known
To Him who chose us for His own.

Sing, pray, and keep His ways unswerving,
Offer your service faithfully,
And trust His word; though undeserving,
You’ll find His promise true to be;
God never will forsake in need
The soul that trusts in Him indeed.

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