At the beginning of a new year, one wonders about the future. There may be apprehension of the unknown, but the Christian can have confidence that God knows the future and is in control. Karolina Sandell-Berg, known as the “Swedish Fanny Crosby,” wrote this hymn that expresses complete trust and confidence in the Lord. In 1858, at the age of 26, she had a tragic experience that greatly affected her spiritual life. While traveling by boat with her father, she witnessed his drowning. Although she had written a number of hymns previously, she became much more prolific following this tragedy. Through these circumstances, she experienced God’s abiding presence daily in her life.
Karolina wrote more than 650 hymns, many of which helped spark the spirit of revival spreading across Scandinavia at that time. This new style of “gospel song,” with poetry expressing a simple child-like faith in the Lord and the use of simple tunes composed by Oscar Ahnfelt, made her songs popular. Ahnfelt was called the “Swedish Troubadour” as he played the guitar and sang her songs throughout Scandinavia. Jenny Lind, the famous Swedish opera singer, helped finance the publishing of some of the songs and sang them in concerts given for the working-class people.
“Day By Day,” written in 1865, is a song of assurance that the Christian can trust in God to take care of the future, day by day. The text promises strength to face trials and special mercy for each hour, assuring that there is no cause for worry. The believer is encouraged to look to God for strength each day of his life. God’s promises can be trusted until the promised land is reached.
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. (Joshua 1:9)
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Gives unto each day what he deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
Ev'ry day the Lord himself is near me,
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares he fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counseller and pow'r.
The protection of his child and treasure
Is a charge that on himself he laid;
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"—
This the pledge to me he made.
Help me then, in eve'ry tribulation,
So to trust thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation,
Offered me within thy holy word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E'er to take, as from a father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.
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