Welcome!  Hymns have been and continue to be a real source of inspiration to me.  My desire in this blog is to share special hymns with my readers hoping that the words will minister to them, especially in times of great personal need.  If one of these hymns ministers to you, please take time to leave a comment so that I know that my blog is helping others as much as it helps me. Sometimes I will also provide a link where you can go to hear the hymn played.  So, please join me here each week and sing along as we praise God together.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

WE'LL UNDERSTAND IT BY AND BY


So many of the hymns that we have featured here over the years have shared the fact that our lives here on earth are filled with trials, and challenges and problems.  And often we question why we must encounter these difficulties.  And many times the answers just don't come.  But someday they will be revealed.  We are reminded in 1 Corinthians 13:12, "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."  And it is with that knowledge ,and the peace that God alone can give, that we move on. "By and by, when the morning comes, when the saints of God are gathered home,we'll tell the story how we've overcome, for we'll understand it better by and by."  Charles Tindley was born near Berlin, Maryland, in July of 1851, the son of a free mother and slave father. His mother passed away when Charles was only four, and a year later he was separated from his father. When he became old enough to work, he was hired out to work with slaves, although his status as "freeborn" was recognized. In his teens he taught himself to read and acquired a fair amount of liberal-arts and theological education, largely through correspondence courses. After having been ordained a Methodist minister, he returned as pastor to a church he had previously served as janitor. Eventually he built the church he headed, in Philadelphia, from some 200 parishioners to a membership of over 12,000 in the 1920s. He wrote some 45 hymns, generally to accompany his own sermons, in almost all cases composing the tunes as well as the words.  After bearing eight children, his wife Daisy, passed away in 1924, the very day the congregation entered the new sanctuary for the first time.  Initially struggling with her death, he would later explain, "one day I will understand it better by and by".  And so his hymn reminds us of that hope that someday the reasons for our trials and struggles will be revealed and we will fully see and understand their purposes in our lives.  May that realization and hope encourage you this week as you face the challenges in your daily path.  I've included all four verses of Tindley's writing, but the last two are probably the best known today and are usually the ones chosen by those who sing this song.

(1)     We are tossed and driv'n on the restless sea of time;
Somber skies and howling tempests oft succeed a bright sunshine;
In that land of perfect day, when the mists have rolled away,
We will understand it better by and by.
By and by, when the morning comes,
When the saints of God are gathered home,
We'll tell the story how we've overcome,
For we'll understand it better by and by.

(2)  We are often destitute of the things that life demands,
Want of food and want of shelter, thirsty hills and barren lands;
We are trusting in the Lord, and according to God's Word,
We will understand it better by and by.
By and by, when the morning comes,
When the saints of God are gathered home,
We'll tell the story how we've overcome,
For we'll understand it better by and by.

(3)   Trials dark on every hand, and we cannot understand
All the ways that God could lead us to that blessed promised land;
But He guides us with His eye, and we'll follow till we die,
For we'll understand it better by and by.
By and by, when the morning comes,
When the saints of God are gathered home,
We'll tell the story how we've overcome,
For we'll understand it better by and by.

(4)    Temptations, hidden snares often take us unawares,
And our hearts are made to bleed for a thoughtless word or deed;
And we wonder why the test when we try to do our best,
But we'll understand it better by and by.
By and by, when the morning comes,
When the saints of God are gathered home,
We'll tell the story how we've overcome,
For we'll understand it better by and by.

Listen to it being sung here.   LISTEN

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