This Sunday evening we’ll be singing hymns from the German Reformation – specifically, the 17th century. This was a rich era of hymnody for the church, led by pastors like Johann Rist, Philip Nicolai, Johann Heerman, and Joachim Neander (who wrote “Praise to the Lord, the Almighy”). But the most prolific German hymn writer of the 17th century was Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676), who wrote more than 100 texts for the German church.
One of Gerhardt’s lesser-known texts is “Why Should Cross and Trial Grieve Me?,” written in 1653 while he was a pastor in Berlin. The English text was translated by John Kelly in 1867, and has been slightly altered.
You can view the sheet music and listen to a piano recording here.
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 has given days of gladness;
Shall I grieve if He gives
Seasons full of sadness?
God is good and shelters ever
All my woes from my foes
And will leave me never.
Hopeful, cheerful, and undaunted
Everywhere they appear
Who in Christ are planted.
Death itself cannot appall them,
They rejoice when the voice
Of their Savior calls them.
Lord, my Shepherd, take me to Thee.
Thou art mine; I was Thine
Long before I knew Thee.
I am Thine, for Thou hast bought me;
Lost I stood, but Thy blood
Free salvation bought 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 Thy grace
Evermore enfold me!