God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Today I'm going to play for you a beautiful hymn-based prelude by J.S. Bach. First, a bit of background: Hymn 635 "If Thou But Trust in God to Guide Thee" is a powerhouse for expressing, in the words of Psalm 46, that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Here are the two stanzas of the hymn as printed in our 1982 Hymnal:
If thou but trust in God to guide thee
And hope in Him through all thy ways,
He'll give thee strength, whate'er betide thee,
And bear thee through the evil days.
Who trusts in God's unchanging love
Builds on a Rock that naught can move.
Sing, pray, and keep His ways unswerving,
So do thine own part faithfully,
And trust His Word, though undeserving,
Thou yet shalt find it true for thee.
God never yet forsook in need
The soul that trusted Him indeed.
Both words and melody were originally composed by Georg Neumark, who lived in Germany during the trials and tribulation of the 30 Years War. Neumark also suffered unthinkable trials in his own life, yet in spite of this, he knew that God provides for his people, and this hymn expresses his unswerving confidence in God. In the face of our own present situation we can pray, read, and sing these words of trust, knowing that God is with us. Watch the video below to hear the hymn, plus Bach's gorgeous prelude.