3. Nay, too closely am I bound
Unto Him by hope forever;
Faith’s strong hand the Rock hath found,
Grasped it, and will leave it never;
Even death now cannot part
From its Lord the trusting heart.

The third verse is interesting and I have issues with it not because it’s wrong, but because the emphasis to me seems to be off. The verse mentions faith’s strong hand grasping the rock. My issue is that faith is not always that strong. When I visit with people who are sick or sorrowing and they refer to the strength of their faith it always makes me nervous. We say  in the explanation of the Third Article of the Creed, “I believe that I cannot buy my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him but the Holy Spirit calls me by the gospel” etc. Faith is the hand that reaches out and receives a gift and it makes no difference if the faith is strong or weak it is what that hand is holding that is important. Luther compared a precious gemstone placed in the hands of a little baby and asked if that gemstone would be more precious if it was held in the strong hand of a lumberjack. Obviously the worth of that stone has nothing to do with who holds it. Christ is the center and object of our faith in Christ the all mighty God who died and rose again for me is grasped by the power of the Holy Spirit and is even able to save the weak.  When faith falters, and hope  seems to fail, that’s when above all things we need to look to Jesus.

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