Hymn

How Firm a Foundation

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent Word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

Even down to old age all my people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in my bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

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Story

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The Story Behind “How Firm a Foundation”

“How Firm a Foundation” appeared in print in 1787 in preacher John Rippon’s book, A Selection of Hymns from the Best Authors. A century later, on Christmas Eve of 1898, it was sung out of the souls of soldiers in their camps during the Spanish-American War.

It’s an anonymous anthem—people can’t say for sure who wrote it. However, many attribute it to Robert Keene, the song leader from John Rippon’s church.

This hymn declares a bold confidence in God’s Word, the Bible. Then, the voice changes and we hear God’s voice in the hymn echoing his promises from the Bible. This hymn is filled with quotations from Scripture. The hymn tells us that God has said all that needs to be said to get us through life and trials. Then, it lets us know just what God has said.

The poem is often accompanied by a folk tune called “Protection” by Joseph Fund, but it also can be sung with the tune of the Christmas hymn, “O Come, All Ye Faithful.”

by Bibles.net

HISTORY OF “HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION”

Lyrics Written
The lyrics to “How Firm a Foundation” appeared in Baptist minister John Rippon’s A Selection of Hymns, anonymously authored by “K.”
Popularity
Shortened versions of the hymn began to regularly appear in American and British hymnals.
Music Composition
Joseph Funk published the hymn accompanied by an American folk piece that is now the most popularized melody to accompany the hymn. The composer of the song is unknown.
Publishing
All seven stanzas of the hymn were published in renowned preacher Charles Spurgeon’s, Our Own Hymnbook.
Impact
The hymn was sung at the funeral of General Robert E. Lee.
Hymn Publicized
The hymn peaked in popularity, appearing in over 80% of hymnals worldwide.
1787
1800
1832
1866
1870
1990

Article: 7 Min

Hymn Stories: “How Firm a Foundation” (+ Free Download)

by Tim Challies at his blog

Verse
Ephesians 2:19-21 NLT

Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord.

Article: 5 Min

An American Hymn Story

by Reasonable Theology

Quote

How firm a foundation,
ye saints of the Lord

Is laid for your faith
in his excellent Word.

Anonymous

Article: 7 Min

History of Hymns: “How Firm a Foundation”

by Dr. Hawn from Discipleship Ministries

Image

“Everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man
who built his house on the rock.

Jesus, Matthew 7:24 CSB

Verse
MATTHEW 7:24-29 NIV

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

Message: 60 Min

How this Hymn

Speaks to Your Suffering

by David Powlison

Verse
ISAIAH 41:10 NKJV

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Image

God has said,
“Never will I leave you;

never will I forsake you.”

Hebrews 13:5 NIV

Songs

Hymns

How Firm a Foundation

by Enfield

Contemporary

How Firm a Foundation

by Jeremy Moore

Praise & Worship

How Firm a Foundation

by Co-Mission

Contemporary

How Firm a Foundation

by Norton Hall Band

Folk | Country Gospel

How Firm a Foundation

by Fernando Ortega

Folk | Country Gospel

How Firm a Foundation

by Hymns of the People

Bluegrass

How Firm a Foundation

by RYM Worship

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