Friday, February 07, 2020

Hymn of the Week: Strong and Courageous

This week's composition is based on the biblical scene of Joshua and the children of Israel making ready to enter the Promised Land after forty years of rebellions and wanderings in the desert. In that context, God tells Joshua over and over again to "be strong and courageous" (Josh. 1:6-9). The refrain for this hymn takes that line and combines it with Paul's sentiment in Romans 8:31: "If God is for us, who can be against us?" The verses then apply the sentiment of that scene to the challenge laid down before the individual Christian: assisted by God's grace, to press on into the Promised Land of abundant life by working to conquer sin and by accepting the victory of the holiness God has granted us as our birthright in Christ. I've set it to the tune of the well-known hymn "Showers of Blessing."

Strong and Courageous

I stand on the banks of the Jordan,
Facing the challenge ahead,
All my rebellions behind me,
Ready to press on instead.

     (Refrain):
     Strong and courageous,
     Strong and courageous I'll be;
     For if my God will be with me,
     Who then can stand against me?

God in his grace and his power
Bids me to enter the land,
Trusting that there in my battles
Strength I'll receive from his hand.

     (Refrain)

With my God's help I march onward,
Practicing all he imparts,
Planting the flag of his kingdom
Deep in the fields of my heart.

     (Refrain)

Sin's fortresses will all crumble;
I will be holy indeed;
For God has already conquered
And claimed the vict'ry for me!

     (Refrain)


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