Daily Devotion 04 March 2021

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.

2 Timothy 1: 12b

But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him.

‘I Know Not Why’
Daniel W Whittle (1840-1901)
I know not why God’s wondrous grace
to me has been made known;
nor why, unworthy as I am,
He claimed me for His own.
But I know whom I have believed;
and am persuaded that He is able
to keep that which I’ve committed
unto Him against that day.
I know not how this saving faith
to me He did impart;
or how believing in His word
wrought peace within my heart.
But I know…
I know not how the Spirit moves,
convincing men of sin;
revealing Jesus through the word,
creating faith in Him.
But I know…
I know not what of good or ill
may be reserved for me,
of weary ways or golden days
before His face I see.
But I know…
I know not when my Lord may come;
I know not how, nor where;
if I shall pass the vale of death,
or “meet Him in the air”.
But I know…

Paul’s second letter to Timothy was written whilst Paul was in prison in Rome awaiting the result of his trial. He was anxious for Timothy to come to him so that they could meet for the last time, but in case he was executed before that, Paul does all he can to encourage Timothy to continue to preach the gospel, even if it was dangerous to do so. After all, Paul was in prison because of his preaching and teaching. Many had abandoned him, ashamed of being a friend of a jailbird. But Paul was not ashamed of being in prison because of Jesus. He had complete faith and trust in his God, and in this verse above, he clearly testifies to his total confidence in God who will not desert him. The words must have encouraged Timothy, as they have encouraged Christians throughout the centuries, including us today.

This particular verse inspired Daniel Whittle, a major in the American Civil War who afterwards became an evangelist and Bible teacher, working with DL Moody (of Moody and Sankey fame). This is his most well-known hymn, which contrasts our lack of knowledge and understanding of the mystery of salvation with complete confidence that God knows what he is doing and is totally trustworthy. In the hymn each verse raises a mystery and each time the chorus responds: “Yes, but God knows”. This is so reassuring for us as we live in such strange times, full of uncertainties. However, this hymn should also carry a warning because if you know it you will keep on singing it!

Prayer:

Lord God, we thank you for the apostle Paul
and for hymn writers who can express their faith in you
in such clear ways which can then encourage
and support us in our faith.
Fill us with your Holy Spirit so that our faith is strengthened
and we in our turn can encourage others.
This we ask in the name of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

Reflection and Prayer © 2021 Gillian Wood.
Hymn words no longer in copyright.
Images freely available online.

A printable version of this Daily Devotional can be downloaded from here
All material within this order of worship is reproduced by permission under CCL 1226356