LIKE A RIVER GLORIOUS
Frances R. Havergal, 1836–1879
If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea. (Isaiah 48:18)
Our gift of salvation includes more than pardon from sin, deliverance from hell, and a guarantee to heaven. It includes everything we need to live victorious lives of “perfect peace and rest” here and now. An untroubled mind is one of life’s greatest goals. Many seek it by pursuing money, success, drugs, or alcohol, but all such roads end in failure and frustration. Contentment has been described as that inner satisfaction that enables us to live in quietness, peace, and acceptance. The secret of contentment does not depend on our material possessions; rather, it depends on our spiritual awareness and the appropriation of what we possess by being members of the heavenly family.
This hymn text by Frances Havergal, often called “England’s Consecration Poet,” reflects so well her personal lifestyle. Her brief life of 43 years was said to be completely dedicated to God and His service. The music was composed for this text by James Mountain, an English Baptist pastor, evangelist and musician. The hymn first appeared in its present form in the Hymns of Consecration and Faith, published in 1876. The song was titled “Perfect Peace.”
These choice words have made this a favorite hymn of many of God’s people through the years, especially when called upon to face difficult problems:
Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace, over all victorious in its bright increase; perfect, yet it floweth fuller ev’ry day; perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.
Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand, never foe can follow, never traitor stand; not a surge of worry, not a shade of care, not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there.
Ev’ry joy or trial falleth from above, traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love; we may trust Him fully all for us to do—They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.
Refrain: Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest—finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.
For Today: Psalm 29:11; Isaiah 26:3; John 14:27; Philippians 4:11; Colossians 3:15; James 3:17
Reflect on this statement—“A mind stayed on God produces a sound mind for daily living.” Carry this musical truth with you as a reminder—