Thy Way and All Thy Sorrows

Full Text

1 Thy way and all thy sorrows,
Give thou into His hand,
His gracious care unfailing,
Who doth the heav’ns command;
Their course and path He giveth
To clouds and air and wind;
A way thy feet may follow,
He too for thee will find.

2 On Him be Thy reliance,
As thou would'st prosper well;
To make thy work enduring
Thy mind on His must dwell.
God yieldeth naught to sorrow
And self tormenting care;
Naught, naught with him availeth;
No power save that of pray'r.

3 Thy truth and grace, O Father,
Behold and surely know,
Both what is good and evil,
For mortal man below:
And whatso'e'er Thou choosest
Thou dost, great God, fulfill,
And into being bringest
Whate'er is in Thy will.

4 Thy way is ever open;
Thou dost on naught depend;
Thine act is only blessing,
Thy path light without end.
Thy work can no man hinder;
Thy purpose none can stay,
Since Thou to bless Thy children
Through all dost make a way.

5 In vain the pow'rs of darkness
Thy will, O God, oppose;
High over all undoubting,
Thy pleasure onward goes.
Whate'er Thy will resolveth,
Whate'er Thou dost intend,
Its destined work performeth
True to its aim and end.

6 Then hope, my feeble spirit,
And be thou undismayed;
God helps in ev'ry trial,
And makes thee unafraid.
Await God's time with pleasure,
Then shall thine eyes behold
The sun of joy and gladness
His brightest beams unfold.

7 Arise, arise! thy sadness,
Thy cares send far away;
Away each thought afflicting
That on the heart doth prey.
Not in thy hands the guidance
Of all events doth dwell;
God on His throne o'erruleth,
He guideth all things well.

8 Leave all to His direction;
In wisdom He doth reign;
Thy wonder far exceeding,
He will His course maintain;
So He as Him beseemeth,
With wonder-working skill,
Shall put away the sorrows
That now thy spirit fill.

9 Awhile His consolation
He will to thee deny,
And seem as though in spirit
He far from thee would fly;
Awhile distress and anguish
Shall compass thee around,
Nor to thy supplication
An answ'ring voice be found.

10 But if thou ne'er forsake Him,
Thou shalt deliv'rance find;
Behold all unexpected,
He will thy soul unbind.
He from thy heavy burden
Will soon thy heart set free;
Yea, from that weight no evil
Hath yet befallen thee.

11 Thou child of truth, how blessed!
A conqu'ror soon shalt be,
With songs of glad thanksgiving
A crown awaiteth thee.
To thee the palm triumphal
By god's own hand is giv'n,
Thine, to His name who saved thee,
To sing the songs of heav'n.

12 Give, Lord, this consummation
To all our hearts’ distress,
Our hands, our feet, O strengthen,
In death our spirits bless.
Thy truth and Thy protection
For evermore we pray;
With these in heav’nly glory
Shall end our certain way.

Source: Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #208

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Gerhardt, Paulus, son of Christian Gerhardt, burgomaster of Gräfenhaynichen, near Wittenberg, was born at Grafenhaynichen, Mar. 12, 1607. On January 2, 1628, he matriculated at the University of Wittenberg. In the registers of St. Mary's church, Wittenberg, his name appears as a godfather, on July 13, 1641, described still as "studiosus," and he seems to have remained in Wittenberg till at least the end of April, 1642. He appears to have gone to Berlin in 1642 or 1643, and was there for some time (certainly after 1648) a tutor in the house of the advocate Andreas Barthold, whose daughter (Anna Maria, b. May 19, 1622, d. March 5, 1668) became his wife in 1655. During this period he seems to have frequently preached in Berlin. He was appoint… Go to person page >

Translator: Arthur T. Russell

Arthur Tozer Russell was born at Northampton, March 20, 1806. He entered S. John's College, Cambridge, in 1824, took the Hulsean Prize in 1825, and was afterwards elected to a scholarship. He was ordained Deacon in 1829, Priest in 1830, and the same year was appointed Vicar of Caxton. In 1852, he was preferred to the vicarage of Whaddon. In 1863, he removed to S. Thomas', Toxteth Park, near Liverpool, and in 1867, to Holy Trinity, Wellington, Salop. He is the editor and author of numerous publications, among them several volumes of hymns. --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, 1872.… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Thy way and all thy sorrows
Title: Thy Way and All Thy Sorrows
German Title: Befiehl du deine Wege
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Translator: Arthur T. Russell
Language: English


Befiehl du deine Wege. P. Gerhardt. [Trust in God.] This hymn, which Lauxmann in Koch, viii. 392, calls "The most comforting of all the hymns that have resounded on Paulus Gerhardt's golden lyre, sweeter to many souls than honey and the honey-comb," appeared as No. 333 in the Frankfurt edition, 1656, of Crüger's Praxis pietatis melica. Thence in Wackernagel's edition of his Geistliche Lieder, No. 66, and Bachmann's edition, No. 72, in 12 stanzas of 8 lines, and included as No. 620 in the Unverfälschter Liedersegen, 1851. It is an acrostic on Luther's version of Ps. xxxvii. 5.

Translation in common use:—
Thy way and all thy sorrows. In full by A. T. Russell as No. 233 in his Psalms and Hymns, 1851, in 3 pts. Pt. ii. begins "In vain the powers of darkness" (stanza v.), and pt. iii. with "Awhile His consolation" (stanza ix.).

--Excerpt from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)





The tune HERZLICH TUT MICH VERLANGEN has been associated with Gerhardt's text ["O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden"] since they were first published together in 1656. The tune's first association with a sacred text was its attachment in 1913 [sic: should read 1613] to Christoph Knoll's funeral text "Herzl…

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