Sometimes a light surprises
The Christian while he sings;
It is the Lord, who rises
With healing in His wings.
When comforts are declining,
He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining
To cheer it after rain.
In holy contemplation
We sweetly then pursue
The theme of God's salvation
And find it ever new.
Set free from present sorrow,
We cheerfully can say
"Let the unknown tomorrow
"Bring with it what it may."
It can bring with it nothing
But He will bear us through;
Who gives the lilies clothing
Will clothe His people too.
Beneath the spreading heavens
No creature but is fed,
And He who feeds the ravens
Will give His children bread.
Though vine nor fig tree neither
Their wonted fruit should bear,
Though all the field should wither,
Nor flocks nor herds be there,
Yet God the same abideth;
His praise shall tune my voice,
For, while in Him confiding,
I cannot but rejoice.
--William Cowper, 1779
The Son of Man will come in might
And sit upon His glorious throne;
Dividing nations left and right,
The King will separate His own,
And to the blest He will declare,
“Receive the kingdom I prepared!”
“I hungered, and you gave Me bread;
“You brought Me water in My name;
“Within your homes, I laid My head;
“You clothed My nakedness and shame.
“To sickness and captivity,
“There too you came to care for Me.”
The just will say, “When did we see
“That You were hungry or in need
“And show You hospitality
“Or quench Your thirst, or clothe, or feed?
“That we should gain this great reward,
“What have we done for You, O Lord?”
And then the King will make reply
To those who followed His design,
“The brethren you did not deny,
“The very least of these are Mine,
“And all you did in charity,
“You did it also unto Me.”
My heart rejoices in the Lord,
Who lifts my horn on high;
I boast before my enemies
Because You heard my cry.
Not one is holy like the Lord;
Beside You, there is none,
And there can be no other rock
But God, the Holy One.
Boast not before Him in your pride,
Nor try Him with your speech;
He is a God who understands
And weighs the deeds of each.
He breaks the bows of mighty men
But makes the feeble strong.
He starves the rich but grants the poor
The food for which they long.
He gives the barren seven sons
While fruitful women pine;
He brings forth death and offers life,
Each one, by His design.
He sends both poverty and wealth;
They come from Him alone:
He lifts the needy from the dust
And seats them on a throne.
The pillars of the earth are His;
His will sustains it all;
He guards the footsteps of His own
But makes the wicked fall.
Their strength cannot defy His will;
“Repent!” His thunders warn;
With judgment, He exalts His king
And glorifies his horn.
In Judah, God is known;
In Zion dwells the Lord,
He breaks the armaments of war,
The arrows, shield, and sword.
More glorious are You
Than mountains full of prey;
Your anger stunned the mighty men
And stole their strength away.
But You are to be feared;
Who dares oppose Your will?
You spoke Your judgment from above;
In dread, the earth went still.
Let all give praise to You
And bring their tribute near;
You shame the princes of the earth
And fill its kings with fear.
God, who made the earth and heavens,
Rules them all by His commands;
Such a God does not inhabit
Temples made with human hands.
Nor do human hands sustain Him;
He needs nothing we can give,
But instead, He gives us freely
Every gift we need to live.
From one man, He made each nation,
All who dwell upon the earth,
Fixing their appointed seasons
And their boundaries from birth.
He desires for all to seek Him,
Not too far for each to find:
God, in whom we have our being,
God, the Father of mankind.
We cannot confine His nature
To an image we invent;
Overlooking former folly,
Now He calls us to repent.
Through a Man whom He appointed,
God will judge as He has said,
Having proved to all His purpose
When He raised Him from the dead.