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What God Ordains Is Always Good

January 23, 2019

There are times in our Christian life when our way seems dark, the pathway unclear, and the circumstances bleak. Scripture truth is meant to help us in those times. When these situations are in our lives, it is easy for us to doubt God's character and ways. We doubt if he is really good; we doubt if he is really loving and kind; we doubt if his ways are right or needful.

 

Yet Scripture points us to bedrock truth about God that we can never deny nor forget. For instance, Deuteronomy 32:4 says, "He [God] is the Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is he."

 

Whatever we are tempted to think of God in times of difficulty, we can never deny that God's way is good and right and perfect. We must never deny God's character of truth, righteousness, and goodness. He can never be or do anything contrary to these things. 

 

It was with this verse and these truths in mind that Samuel Rodigast (1649-1708) wrote the text to this great hymn. Perhaps it was written for his friend, Servus Gastorius (1646-1682) in his time of illness. We do not know for sure. It was, however, sung at the funeral of King Frederick William III of Prussia (1797-1840), and used by the great composer Johann Sebastian Bach in several of his cantatas.

 

Every stanza of this hymn begins by trumpeting the axiom, "What God ordains is always good" and continues by supporting that truth, followed by how we are to respond to God's goodness.

 

Perhaps you are going through a time of darkness, sadness, uncertainty, difficulty, pain, or sorrow. Let the Holy Scriptures, and great hymn texts like this, be a kind of balm to your soul and provide strength to your fainting heart.

 

You can find the traditional sheet music here, with the tune written by Servus Gastorius. Here is also a newer choral arrangement of the hymn by Josh Bauder, done in 2013, which is also very nice.

 

What God ordains is always good:

His will is just and holy.

As He directs my life for me, 

I follow meek and lowly.

My God indeed

In ev'ry need

Knows well how He will shield me;

To Him, then, I will yield me.

 

What God ordains is always good:

He never will deceive me;

He leads me in His righteous way,

And never will He leave me.

I take content

What He has sent;

His hand that sends me sadness

Will turn my tears to gladness.

 

What God ordains is always good:

His loving thought attends me;

No poison can be in the cup 

That my Physician sends me.

My God is true;

Each morning new

I trust His grace unending,

My life to Him commending.

 

What God ordains is always good:

He is my Friend and Father;

He suffers naught to do me harm

Though many storms may gather.

Now I may know

Both joy and woe;

Some day I shall see clearly

That He has loved me dearly.

 

What God ordains is always good:

Though I the cup am drinking

Which savors now of bitterness,

I take it without shrinking.

For after grief

God gives relief,

My heart with comfort filling

And all my sorrow stilling.

 

What God ordains is always good:

This truth remains unshaken.

Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,

I shall not be forsaken.

I fear no harm,

For with his arm

He shall embrace and shield me;

So to my God I yield me.

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