THANKS TO GOD!
August Ludvig Storm, 1862–1914
Translated by Carl E. Backstrom, 1901–
Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:20)
A thankful spirit, both for the good and the difficult, is one of the important indicators of a believer’s spiritual condition. To be able to say—
I thank Thee, God, that all our joy is touched with pain, that shadows fall on brightest hours, that thorns remain;
So that earth’s bliss may be our guide, and not our chain. I thank Thee, Lord, that Thou has kept the best in store;
We have enough, but not too much to long for more—a yearning for a deeper peace, not known before.
—Adelaide A. Procter
A prayer like this requires a life that knows and practices the intimate presence of Christ in daily living.
August Storm, the author of “Thanks to God!”, lived most of his life in Stockholm, Sweden. As a young man he was converted to Christ in a Salvation Army meeting. Soon he joined the Salvation Army Corps and in time became one of its leading officers. He wrote this hymn’s text for the Army’s publication, Stridsropet (The War Cry), on December 5, 1891. The original Swedish version had four stanzas, with each verse beginning with the word tack “thanks,” having a total of 32 “thanks” in all. The gratitude expressed to God ranges from the “dark and dreary fall” to the “pleasant, balmy springtime,” “pain as well as pleasure,” “thorns as well as roses.”
These words have come from the heart of one who lived and practiced what his lips and pen proclaimed:
Thanks, O God, for boundless mercy from Thy gracious throne above; thanks for ev’ry need provided from the fullness of Thy love! Thanks for daily toil and labor and for rest when shadows fall; thanks for love of friend and neighbor and Thy goodness unto all!
Thanks for thorns as well as roses; thanks for weakness and for health; thanks for clouds as well as sunshine; thanks for poverty and wealth! Thanks for pain as well as pleasure—all thou sendest day by day; and Thy Word, our dearest treasure, shedding light upon our way.
Thanks, O God, for home and fireside, here we share our daily bread; thanks for hours of sweet communion, when by Thee our souls are fed! Thanks for grace in time of sorrow and for joy and peace in Thee; thanks for hope today, tomorrow, and for all eternity!
For Today: Psalm 68:19; 103:1–10; 116:12; Revelation 7:12
“A grateful person is a happy one.” Become even more aware of God’s daily blessings in life. Carry this portion of today’s hymn with you—