Fresh Start August 2016 | Page 17

1971 Songs of the Church, the 1990 Songs of the Church 21st C. Ed., and the 1994 Songs of Faith and Praise all edited by Alton H. Howard; the 1975 Supplement to the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 originally edited by E. L. Jorgenson; the 1978/1983 Church Gospel Songs and Hymns edited by V. E. Howard; the 1990 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand; the 2007 Sacred Songs of the Church edited by William D. Jeffcoat; the 2009 Favorite Songs of the Church and the 2010 Songs for Worship and Praise both edited by Robert J. Taylor Jr.; and the 2012 Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs edited by Steve Wolfgang et. al; in addition to Hymns for Worship and Sacred Selections. The words of this song compare the transitory nature of this life to the eternal nature of God and heaven. I. Stanza 1 reminds us that time is filled with swift transition Time is filled with swift transition, Naught of earth unmoved can stand, Build your hopes on things eternal, Hold to God’s unchanging hand. A. Our life is but a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away: Jas. 4:13-14 B. Nothing in this earth will stand unmoved because all eventually will pass away: 2 Pet. 3:10 C. However, there are some things which are eternal because they come from the eternal God: Deut. 33:27 II. Stanza 2 encourages us to trust in God no matter what happens in this uncertain life Trust in Him who will not leave you, Whatsoever years may bring, If by earthly friends forsaken Still more closely to Him cling. A. We should always trust in the Lord: Ps. 37:3-5 B. We cannot always trust in men because sometimes we are by earthly friends forsaken: Ps. 41:9 C. But we can closely cling to God because He will never leave us or forsake us: Deut. 31:6 III. Stanza 3 admonishes us not to trust in the uncertain treasures of this life which pass away Covet not this world’s vain riches That so rapidly decay, Seek to gain the heavenly treasures, They will never pass away. A. We should not covet the vain riches of this world: 1 Tim. 6:9-10 B. One reason is that they so rapidly decay: Jas. 5:1-3 C. Rather, we should seek the heavenly treasures which will never pass away: Matt. 6:19-20 IV. Stanza 4 tells us that there awaits the faithful a fair and bright home in glory When your journey is completed, If to God you have been true, Fair and bright the home in glory Your enraptured soul will view. A. Our journey will be completed at death: Heb. 9:27 B. Certainly it should be our aim at that time to have been true or faithful to God: Rev. 2:10 C. Then we can look forward to a crown in that home in glory: 2 Tim. 4:6-8 CONCL.: The chorus exhorts us to keep on holding to God’s hand. Hold (to His hand) to God’s unchanging hand, Hold (to His hand) to God’s unchanging hand; Build your hopes on things eternal, Hold to God’s unchanging hand. If, in this life, we will put our “little hands in His big hand” by following God’s revealed will in all things, then we can have the hope that in heaven we shall forever be able to “Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand.” August Edition 17