If God Himself Be For Me

1. If God Himself be for me, I may a host defy; For when I pray, before me My foes, confounded, fly. If Christ, my Head and Master, Befriend me from above, What foe or what disaster Can drive me from His love?

2. This I believe, yea, rather, Of this I make my boast, That God is my dear Father, The Friend who loves me most, And that, whate'er betide me, My Savior is at hand Through stormy seas to guide me And bring me safe to land.

3. I build on this foundation, That Jesus and His blood Alone are my salvation, The true, eternal good. Without Him all that pleases Is valueless on earth; The gifts I owe to Jesus Alone my love are worth.

4. My Jesus is my Splendor, My Sun, my Light, alone; Were He not my Defender Before God's awe— full throne, I never should find favor And mercy in His sight, But be destroyed forever As darkness by the light.

5. He canceled my offenses, Delivered me from death; He is the Lord who cleanses My soul from sin through faith. In Him I can be cheerful, Bold, and undaunted aye; In Him I am not fearful Of God's great Judgment Day.

6. Naught, naught, can now condemn me Nor set my hope aside; Now hell no more can claim me, Its fury I deride. No sentence e'er reproves me, No ill destroys my peace; For Christ, my Savior, loves me And shields me with His grace.

7. His Spirit in me dwelleth, And o'er my mind He reigns. All sorrow He dispelleth And soothes away all pains. He crowns His work with blessing And helpeth me to cry, "My Father!" without ceasing, To Him who dwells on high.

8. And when my soul is lying Weak, trembling, and opprest, He pleads with groans and sighing That cannot be exprest; But God's quick eye discerns them, Although they give no sound, And into language turns them E'en in the heart's deep ground.

9. To mine His Spirit speaketh Sweet word of holy cheer, How God to him that seeketh For rest is always near And how He hath erected A city fair and new, Where what our faith expected We evermore shall view.

10. In yonder home doth flourish My heritage, my lot; Though here I die and perish, My heaven shall fail me not. Though care my life oft saddens And causeth tears to flow, The light of Jesus gladdens And sweetens every woe.

11. Who clings with resolution To Him whom Satan hates Must look for persecution; For him the burden waits Of mockery, shame, and losses, Heaped on his blameless head; A thousand plagues and crosses Will be his daily bread.

12. From me this is not hidden, Yet I am not afraid; I leave my cares, as bidden, To whom my vows were paid. Though life and limb it cost me And everything I won, Unshaken shall I trust Thee And cleave to Thee alone.

13. Though earth be rent asunder, Thou'rt mine eternally; Not fire nor sword nor thunder Shall sever me from Thee; Not hunger, thirst, nor danger, Not pain nor poverty Nor mighty princes' anger Shall ever hinder me.

14. No angel and no gladness, No throne, no pomp, no show, No love, no hate, no sadness, No pain, no depth of woe, No scheme of man's contrivance, However small or great, Shall draw me from Thy guidance Nor from Thee separate.

15. My heart for joy is springing And can no more be sad, 'Tis full of mirth and singing, Sees naught but sunshine glad. The Sun that cheers my spirit Is Jesus Christ, my King; That which I shall inherit Makes me rejoice and sing.

Words: Paul Gerhardt, 1656. Verses 1-3, 7-9, 11-15 Translated by Richard Massie, 1856, alt. Verses 4-6,10 Translated for Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book (Pittsburgh), 1907, alt.
Music: 'Woodbird' or 'Es Flog Ein Kleins Waldvögelein' traditional German found in "Memminger Tabulaturbuche", 17th Century.
Setting: George Ratcliffe Woodward, 1904.
copyright: public domain. This score is a part of the Open Hymnal Project, 2011 Revision.

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