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Appreciating Our Lutheran Hymns

The Lord hath Helped Me Hitherto

A Hymn of Worship and Praise

#33 in The Lutheran Hymnal

It is not surprising that The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal speaks of this month’s hymn as “one of our most popular hymns of praise from the German.” The sentiments expressed by Amilie Juliane are universal among Christians.

She personally experienced great tragedy. Her parents had to flee to a relative’s castle during the Thirty Years War. Both parents died before her sixth birthday. Yet the over 600 hymns that she wrote are not filled with bitterness, but “are full of a deep love for her Savior.” (Handbook)

The words of this hymn call to mind what Samuel said as the Israelites erected a stone to commemorate the victory God gave them over the Philistines: “Thus far the LORD has helped us” (1 Sam. 7:12).

How many times can each of us remember when God helped us too, just as He promised, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).

It is fitting we join with the hymnwriter in praising the Lord for His help in the past, “The Lord hath helped me hitherto”; in the present, “I . . . thank Thee, Lord, my God, For Thine abundant blessing Which . . . I am still possessing”; and into the future, “Help me henceforth, O God of grace . . . Help me as Thou hast helped me!”

–Pastor Paul Krause