Don’t we all just really love the “good days?” Those are the days when the sun shines, the bird sings, the kids play nicely and supper dishes seem to just clean themselves. It’s true. Those are good days. Many people think those are the days that really want to make us sing. But praise is not only a comely thing on “good days.”
The German reformation was a period of over a hundred years marked by war, disease, famine and persecution. Over half the population of Germany died during those years. Nearly all of some cities perished by plague while surrounded by enemy armies. What is amazing is what wonderful music came from those 120 years of terror. By some estimates over twenty thousand new hymns were written during that chaotic time.
What did they sing? Luther wrote “A Mighty Fortress,” one of the most sung hymns in Christendom. Martin Rinkart wrote the great hymn “Now Thank We all Our God.” Another wonderful hymn is Peter Herbert’s “Faith is a Living Power.” As these saints of God endured the horrors of their age they found peace in singing songs of praise. These hymns are not laments or posing questions of doubt to the almighty God, they are songs of greatest confidence in His love and care. They express the deepest sounds of faith from those whose faith has been most deeply tested. At no point do they think God has abandoned them because it was not a “good day.” They knew that all days with God are good!
Because it is the least well known of the three hymns mentioned let us conclude with a few verses of Herbert’s hymn “Faith is a Living Power.” While singing this hymn of joy and faith, have a really good day.
Faith is a living power from Heaven, that grasps the promise God hath given,
A trust that cannot be o’erthrown, fixed heartily on Christ alone.
Faith in the conscience worketh peace, and bids the mourner’s weeping cease;
By faith the children’s place we claim, and give all honor to one Name.
And from His fullness grant each soul the rightful faith’s true end and goal,
The blessedness no foes destroy, eternal love and light and joy.