rebelling against low expectations

What Old Hymns Teach Me About God’s Sovereignty


I love the old hymns.

There is something about the deep spiritual and theological truths, and the way the lyrics and the harmonies flow, that compel me to stop whatever I’m doing at the moment and just listen.

These are the old-school hymns like Amazing Grace, It Is Well with My Soul, and Great Is Thy Faithfulness. I was raised on these songs and have known them by heart since I was a young girl.

One of these hymns that I have grown very fond of in the past few years is In Christ Alone .

It speaks to an issue I have struggled with for so many years. The struggle of finding my identity in Christ and his work for us on the cross. Lately however, I have been looking to the future and pondering tough questions such as the following: What does God have in store for me after I graduate high school? Where do I go to college? What do I do in regards to a career?

In the midst of all my soul-searching and my fervent prayers and Bible studies, I was recently touched by the lyrics of In Christ Alone, particularly the last verse, which goes like like this:

No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me;

From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.

No power of Hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from his hand.

‘Till he returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ, I stand.

No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me.

We are freed from our sin and guilt by Christ’s work for us on the cross. No longer do we need to live in fear of pain or death.

No longer do we have to bear the weight of our sins, or the deep aching in our soul that comes from the knowledge that nothing we can ever do will get us to Heaven.

Christ has set us free from all of that, and with it he has given us the power to go out into the world and do, on his behalf, what was not possible while we were yet in sin.

We are found in Christ alone. When we understand that our identity is in him, and not just the amount of earthly possessions or popular friends we have, it sets us free from our sin and gives us the freedom to do hard things for him.

From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.

It does not matter whether you are making a decision as small as what to wear for the day or a decision as meaningful or impactful as where to attend college or what career field to seek a job in.

Jesus knows what will happen in your life, and he has always known.

Out of a job? Jesus knows what’s going on. Can’t decide what college to attend? Jesus understands. Fighting a difficult spiritual battle that never seems to stop wearing on you? Jesus cares. He knows. He has been there before.

And he is in control of it all.

No power of Hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from his hand.

When we accept God’s gift of eternal salvation and cast off all our burdens, leaving them at the cross, we are his children forever. Nothing can change that.

We are God’s children, and he has promised to protect us.

‘Till he returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I stand.

As God’s people, we have been given a mission to fulfill while we remain on this earth. We have all been given gifts and talents by God to use in service to him. Whether it is in a mission field overseas or right where we are, we can rest assured that whatever God calls us to do, he will fully equip us for it.

Jesus has not promised us a life without hardships or rough times. That will only happen when we pass from this life to the next and meet our blessed Savior face to face. It may seem that life has no direction, the future is uncertain, and there is no way that whatever you’re going through has any purpose to it whatsoever.

But Jesus came to set us free from all of our uncertainties, doubts, and fears.

He is bigger than our worries, frustrations, problems, and heartaches. And until he returns gloriously or calls us home, he has promised to stand by our side until our time here is done.

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About the author

Grace Harris

is a science junkie and a lover of all things deep and spiritual who has been blessed with a wonderful mother and father and two siblings. When she’s not reading or drafting plans for another writing project, Grace is constantly searching for ways to be a blessing to others and to spread God’s love to all those God has placed in her path.

1 comment

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  • I was searching for hymns about God’s sovereignty and stumbled upon this page. You’ve got the makings of a good writer, and I love the blog title XD. One little nitpick: In Christ Alone is actually a contemporary hymn, not an old one; the lyrics were written by Stuart Townend in 2001 and recorded in 2002 (maybe that’s considered old for young people hahaha). What college did you end up choosing?


By Grace Harris
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →