Yet once again, by God’s abundant mercy,
We join our song of thankfulness and praise;
Ever the light of our Redeemer’s victory
Shineth before us in the world’s dark ways.
Jesus shall conquer, lift up the strain!
Evil shall perish and righteousness shall reign.
O for the time of Christ’s completed mission!
Throbs of its rapture reach us as we pray;
Gleams of its glory bursting on our vision
Speed us to labour, urge us on our way.
Stretch out Thy hand, O God, and let the nations
Feel through Thine host the thrill of life divine;
Grant us, we pray, still greater revelations;
Make of these days an everlasting sign.
Yes – there are many “dark ways” in the world today – there have always been, it seems. But we hold to our faith that “evil shall perish and righteousness shall reign” – someday, when “at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow … and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10,11)
When we learn of continual growth in Christian churches in “the majority world”, in spite of, and perhaps because of, much persecution, our hope is shored up. When a famous rapper claims to have begun to follow Christ and produces an album uplifting the name of Jesus, again, our hope is strengthened.
When Salvation Army General Albert Orsborn penned the above song, he had been inspired by an international congress in 1914, but changes were made and the song as we now know it was published in 1940. Each of those years involved a world at war! How people must have been clinging to hope for better times! Note that in the second verse, “Christ’s completed mission” is said to depend on the labour of us who follow Him. May we respond to the challenge in whatever ways are open to us.