What God Ordains

He Suffers Naught to Do Me Harm

I'm enjoying Bach's Cantata (BWV 100; Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjbWG_HhwjM), "Was Gott tut, das ist wohl getan."

The centerpiece is the chorale by the same name. Like many hymns, there's a powerful story behind it.

From http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV100-D2.htm:

"Was Gott tut, das ist wohl getan ("What God doth, that is rightly done") - the text of this chorale is by Samuel Rodigast (1649-1708), rector of the Gymnasium des Grauen Klosters (Grey Cloister Grammar School) in Berlin. He wrote just the one hymn text, dedicating it to his seriously-ill friend, cantor Severus Gastorius. The invalid was so moved by the comforting words, that he at once composed an accompanying melody. The chorale, full of hope and faith, quickly became a firm favourite in religious circles."

This dovetails nicely with what God teaches us to pray in the third petition of Lord's Prayer ("Thy will be done.")

From Luther's Large Catechism:

"If we would be Christians, therefore, we must surely expect
and reckon upon having the devil with all his angels and the
world as our enemies, who will bring every possible misfortune
and grief upon us. For where the Word of God is preached,
accepted, or believed, and produces fruit, there the holy
cross cannot be wanting. And let no one think that he shall
have peace; but he must risk what whatever he has upon earth
-- possessions, honor. house and estate, wife and children,
body and life. Now, this hurts our flesh and the old Adam; for
the test is to be steadfast and to suffer with patience in
whatever way we are assailed, and to let go whatever is taken
from us."

(Triglot Concordia, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921)

The text of this hymn is a marvelous working-out of that idea. What a comfort for us as we face the constant trials of our own sinful nature, and the neverending evils of this sinful world!

"What God Ordains Is Always Good"
by Samuel Rodigast, 1649-1708

1. What God ordains is always good;
His will abideth holy.
As He directs my life for me,
I follow meek and lowly.
God indeed in every need
Doth well know how to shield me;
To Him, then, I will yield me.

2. What God ordains is always good.
He never will deceive me;
He leads me in His own right way,
And never will He leave me.
I take content What He hath sent;
His hand that sends me sadness
Will turn my tears to gladness.

3. What God ordains is always good.
His loving thought attends me;
No poison can be in the cup
That my Physician sends me.
My God is true; Each morn anew
I'll trust His grace unending,
My life to Him commending.

4. What God ordains is always good.
He is my Friend and Father;
He suffers naught to do me harm,
Though many storms may gather.
Now I may know Both joy and woe,
Some day I shall see clearly
That He hath loved me dearly.

5. What God ordains is always good.
Though I the cup am drinking
Which savors now of bitterness,
I take it without shrinking.
For after grief God grants relief,
My heart with comfort filling
And all my sorrow stilling.

6. What God ordains is always good.
This truth remains unshaken.
Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,
I shall not be forsaken.
I fear no harm, For with His arm
He shall embrace and shield me;
So to my God I yield me.

(Courtesy of http://lutheran-hymnal.com)

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