Tuesday Hymns: “Why Should Cross and Trial Grieve Me?

Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676) was a Lutheran pastor at Mittenwalde, near Berlin. Like many of his time period, his life was filled with grief, having to bury a wife, and only having one of his children live to adulthood (three died in infancy). 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 is fitting description of his life:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

His hymn, Why Should Cross and Trial Grieve Me?, is a marvelous testimony of the grace of God that he had experienced during his own life filled with controversy and sorrow.

Why should cross and trial grieve me? Christ is near with his cheer; never will he leave me. Who can rob me of the heaven that God’s Son for my own to my faith hath given?

God oft gives me days of gladness; shall I grieve if he give seasons, too, of sadness? God is good and tempers ever all my ill, and he will wholly leave me never.

Death cannot destroy forever; from our fears, cares, and tears it will us deliver. It will close life’s mournful story, make a way that we may enter heav’nly glory.

Lord, my Shepherd, take me to thee. Thou art mine; I was thine, even ere I knew thee. I am thine, for thou hast bought me; lost I stood, but thy blood free salvation brought me.

Thou art mine; I love and own thee. Light of joy, ne’er shall I from my heart dethrone thee. Savior, let me soon behold thee face to face; may the grace evermore enfold me!

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