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2020-06-30 Thanks to God for My Redeemer

It is easy to thank God for roses. It is much harder to thank Him for the thorns.  This hymn offers a mature approach to thanksgiving, showing appreciation for pain and pleasure, joy and sorrow.  

August Storm wrote this hymn in 1891 while still a young man of twenty-nine.  He worked for the Salvation Army in Sweden and published this hymn in the organization’s periodical, The War Cry.

Just eight years after writing this hymn, Storm was stricken with a back problem that left him crippled for the rest of his life.  He managed to continue his Salvation Army work, and he maintained a thankful spirit even during this most difficult time.  If anything, his troubles gave more power and credibility to his sermons and writings.

William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen, Great Songs of Faith, 1995

 This hymn was written in Swedish and was translated into English in 1931, by Carl Ernest Backstrom (1901-1984). In Storm's Swedish version, he lists some thirty-two things to be thankful for.  His hymn could serve as a good outline of things that we should thank the Lord for.  Right now, no matter what you are facing, consider all the reasons you should be thankful. Remember God’s promises. He has a plan for you. And He is with you! Think about what He has done for you. Be specific. Tell Him how thankful you are!

18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

I Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
    Let the whole world know what he has done.
Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.
    Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.
Exult in his holy name;
    rejoice, you who worship the Lord.
Search for the Lord and for his strength;
    continually seek him.

Psalm 105:1-4 (NLT)

Thanks to God for my Redeemer,
Thanks for all Thou dost provide!
Thanks for times now but a mem’ry,
Thanks for Jesus by my side!
Thanks for pleasant, balmy springtime,
Thanks for dark and stormy fall!
Thanks for tears by now forgotten,
Thanks for peace within my soul!

Thanks for prayers that Thou hast answered,
Thanks for what Thou dost deny!
Thanks for storms that I have weathered,
Thanks for all Thou dost supply!
Thanks for pain, and thanks for pleasure,
Thanks for comfort in despair!
Thanks for grace that none can measure,
Thanks for love beyond compare!

Thanks for roses by the wayside,
Thanks for thorns their stems contain!
Thanks for home and thanks for fireside,
Thanks for hope, that sweet refrain!
Thanks for joy and thanks for sorrow,
Thanks for heav’nly peace with Thee!
Thanks for hope in the tomorrow,
Thanks through all eternity!

*Devotion and music provided by Jane Cockrell

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