“We Will Stand the Storm”

"No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life…" (2 Tim. 2.4)

     INTRO.: A song which exhorts us to keep ourselves from being entangled with the affairs of this life as we engage in God’s war is "We Shall Stand the Storm." The text is taken from a poem beginning "Am I A Soldier of the Cross?" written by Isaac Watts (1674-1748). The exact date and circumstances of its writing are unknown. Watts was in the habit of composing a hymn each week to use in connection with his Sunday morning sermon. This one, to accompany a lesson on the subject of "Holy Fortitudes," has been placed as early as 1709 and as late as 1723. It first appeared in print as an appendix to the third volume of Watts’s Sermons published in 1724. The tune (O’Kane) is often attributed to Tullius Clinton O’Kane (1830-1912). It first appeared in his book Additional Fresh Leaves, published around 1870.

     The majority of hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ have had this text in one form or another, with various tunes, most often one (Arlington) by Thomas Augustus Arne most commonly found with Anna Laetitia Barbauld’s "Again the Lord of Light and Life."   An abridged version of the O’Kane tune with Watts’s "When I Can Read My Title Clear" was used in the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 edited by E. L. Jorgenson, and is found in the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand. The song, with both words and music arranged by Thomas Seth Cobb, was used in the 1938/1944 (New) Wonderful Songs which was edited by Cobb published by the Firm Foundation Publishing House. In some other books, a portion of Watts’s original poem is used with a tune and a chorus beginning "When the Battle’s Over," attributed to William B. Blake. With six stanzas in the original hymn, one could make two separate hymns using these two tunes.

     This song points out the need to be faithful in waging a good warfare.

I. Stanza 1 says that as soldiers, we need courage to bear the toil and endure the pain
"Sure I must fight if I would reign; Increase my courage, Lord;
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain, Supported by Thy word."
 A. Our goal in our fighting is to reign with Christ: 2 Tim. 2.11-12
 B. Therefore, we must always seek to be of good courage and not be afraid: Josh. 1.9
 C. And we will strive to endure whatever trials may come our way: Jas. 1.12

II. Stanza 2 says that as soldiers, we must be willing to continue to death
"Thy saints, in all this glorious war, Shall conquer, though they die;
They view the triumph from afar, And seize it with their eye."
 A. Those who are soldiers of Christ are identified as saints: 1 Cor. 1.1-2
 B. They must recognize the imporance of being faithful unto death: Rev. 2.10
 C. Only then will they gain the final victory that overcomes the world: 1 Jn. 5.4

III. Stanza 3 says that as soldiers, we can gain the victory
"When that illustrious day shall rise, And all Thy armies shine
In robes of victory through the skies, The glory shall be Thine."
 A. That illustrious day would refer to the second coming of Christ: Acts 1.11
 B. Then the good soldier will gain the final triumph inthe resurrection: 1 Cor. 15.57
 C. Even though the faithful will win, the glory will belong to the Lord: Eph. 3:20-21

     CONCL.: As we seek to fight the good fight of the faith, we shall have weather many storms, and the chorus encourages us, saying,
"We will stand the storm, We will anchor by and by, by and by;
We will stand the storm, We will anchor by and by."
As we face the storms of life that will come upon us while we strive to battle for the Lord, we need to keep pressing on with the attitude that "We Will Stand The Storm."


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