If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee

If thou but suffer God to guide thee,
And hope in Him through all thy ways,
He’ll give thee strength whate’er betide thee,
And bear thee through the evil days.
Who trusts in God’s unchanging love
Builds on the rock that nought can move.

What can these anxious cares avail thee,
These never-ceasing moans and sighs?
What can it help, if thou bewail thee
O’er each dark moment as it flies?
Our cross and trials do but press
The heavier for our bitterness.

Only be still and wait His leisure
In cheerful hope, with heart content
To take whate’er thy Father’s pleasure
And all-deserving love hath sent,
Nor doubt our inmost wants are known
To Him who chose us for His own.

He knows the time for joy, and truly
Will send it when He sees it meet,
When He has tried and purged thee throughly
And finds thee free from all deceit,
He comes to thee all unaware
And makes thee own His loving care.

Nor think amid the heat of trial
That God hath cast thee off unheard,
That he whose hopes meet no denial
Must surely be of God preferred;
Time passes and much change doth bring,
And sets a bound to everything.

All are alike before the Highest.
‘Tis easy to our God, we know,
To raise thee up though low thou liest,
To make the rich man poor and low;
True wonders still by Him are wrought
Who setteth up and brings to nought.

Sing, pray, and keep His ways unswerving,
So do thine own part faithfully,
And trust His Word, though undeserving,
Thou yet shalt find it true for thee!
God never yet forsook at need
The soul that trusted Him indeed.

~Georg Neumark (Catherine Winkworth, Translator)

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