Commit Whatever Grieves Thee

Representative Text

Commit whatever grieves thee
At heart, and all thy ways,
To Him who never leaves thee,
On whom creation stays.
Who freest courses maketh
For clouds, and air, and wind,
And care who ever taketh
A path for thee to find.

The Lord thou must repose on
If thou wouldst prosper sure,
His work must ever gaze on
If thine is to endure.
By anxious care and grieving,
By self-consuming pain,
God is not mov’d to giving;
By pray’r must thou obtain.

Thy grace that ever floweth,
O Father! what is good,
Or evil, ever knoweth,
To mortal flesh and blood.
What to Thine eye all-seeing,
And to Thy counsel wise
Seems good, doth into being,
O mighty Prince, arise!

For means it fails Thee never,
Thou always find’st a way,
Thy doing’s blessing ever,
Thy path like brightest day.
Thy work can no one hinder,
Thy labour cannot rest,
If Thou design’st Thy tender
Children should be bless’d.

Though all the powers of evil
Should rise up to resist,
Without a doubt or cavil
God never will desist;
His undertakings ever
At length He carries through;
What He designs He never
Can fail at all to do.

Hope on, thou heart, grief-riven,
Hope, and courageous be,
Where anguish thee hath driven,
Thou shalt deliv’rance see.
God, from thy pit of sadness
Shall raise thee graciously;
Wait, and the sun of gladness
Thine eyes shall early see.

Up! up! to pain and anguish
A long good night now say;
Drive all that makes thee languish
In grief and woe away.
Thine ’tis not to endeavour
The ruler’s part to play,
God sits as ruler ever,
Guides all things well each day.

Let Him alone—and tarry
He is a Prince all wise,
He shall Himself so carry,
’Twill strange seem in thine eyes,
When He as Him beseemeth,
In wonderful decree,
Shall as Himself good deemeth,
O’errule what grieveth thee.

He may awhile still staying
His comforts keep from thee,
And on His part delaying,
Seem to have utterly
Forgotten and forsaken
And put thee out of mind,
Though thou’rt by grief o’ertaken,
No time for thee to find.

But if thou never shrinkest,
And true dost still remain,
He’ll come when least thou thinkest,
And set thee free again,
Thee from the load deliver,
That burdeneth thy heart,
That thou hast carried never
For any evil part.

Hail! child of faith, who gainest
The victory alway,
Who honour’s crown obtainest,
That never fades away.
God in thy hand will give thee,
One day, the glorious palm;
Who ne’er in grief did leave thee,
To Him thou’lt sing thy psalm.

O Lord no longer lengthen
Our time of misery,
Our hands and feet now strengthen,
And until death may we
By Thee be watched and car’d for,
In faithfulness and love,
So come we where prepar’d for
Us is our bless’d abode.

Paul Gerhardt’s Spiritual Songs, 1867

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Paul Gerhardt (b. Gräfenheinichen, Saxony, Germany, 1607; d. Lubben, Germany, 1676), famous author of Lutheran evangelical hymns, studied theology and hymnody at the University of Wittenberg and then was a tutor in Berlin, where he became friends with Johann Crüger. He served the Lutheran parish of Mittenwalde near Berlin (1651-1657) and the great St. Nicholas' Church in Berlin (1657-1666). Friederich William, the Calvinist elector, had issued an edict that forbade the various Protestant groups to fight each other. Although Gerhardt did not want strife between the churches, he refused to comply with the edict because he thought it opposed the Lutheran "Formula of Concord," which con­demned some Calvinist doctrines. Consequently, he was r… Go to person page >

Author: J. Kelly

Kelly, John, was born at Newcastle-on-Tyne, educated at Glasgow University, studied theology at Bonn, New College, Edinburgh, and the Theological College of the English Presbyterian Church (to which body he belongs) in London. He has ministered to congregations at Hebburn-on-Tyne and Streatham, and was Tract Editor of the Religious Tract Society. His translations of Paul Gerhardt's Spiritual Songs were published in 1867. Every piece is given in full, and rendered in the metre of the originals. His Hymns of the Present Century from the German were published in 1886 by the Religious Tract Society. In these translations the metres of the originals have not always been followed, whilst some of the hymns have been abridged and others condens… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Commit whatever grieves thee
Title: Commit Whatever Grieves Thee
German Title: Befiehl du deine Wege
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Author: J. Kelly (1867)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


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, "Befiehl dem Herren deine Wege und hoffe auf ihn, er wirds wohl machen," formed by the initial words of the stanzas, those in Wackernagel’s edition being printed in blacker type. This acrostic form has been preserved by Jacobi and Stallybrass.

Translation not in common use:—
Commit whatever grieves thee, by J. Kelly, 1867, p. 225. (10) "Commit thy way. 0 weeping," by Dr. J. Guthrie in his Sacred Lyrics, 1869, p. 92.

-- 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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The Cyber Hymnal #969
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The Cyber Hymnal #969

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