He Will Hold Me Fast: The Story Behind The Song

New Words Written by Matthew Merker/Arr. Phillip Keveren

This Sunday we will sing “He Will Hold Me Fast” in worship. This is still a relatively new song in our worship vocabulary but rich in meaning! 

Often in our faith journey we are quick to give “Sunday School” answers to questions that need deeper reflection. My awakening to such thinking was most vivid in 2003 when I lost both parents: my dad in March and my mom in November. During times of loss, or upheavals in our life, our faith is tested. We end up either holding tighter or letting go. Thank God that the working out of our faith in those desperate times ultimately depends upon His Sovereignty, not our sufficiency to handle things or make sense of it all. 

During the hazardous junctures of our existence our true character is revealed. But even more importantly than our character, the sufficiency of Christ to walk with us through these problematic, often gut-wrenching events, materializes. His strong arms hold tightly and carry us through the storm. I imagine many of you have felt exactly what I am talking about. 

The words to this modern hymn “He Will Hold Me Fast” were originally written by: Ada Ruth Habershon. Matthew Merker read the words while going through a period of questioning in his faith journey. I am attaching a video link that shares more background from Merker. 

Through his struggle and working out of his faith, he emerged stronger. The questions were not too big for God.  The resultant words of the hymn are powerful and comforting.

When I fear my faith will fail, Christ will hold me fast.

When the tempter would prevail, He will hold me fast.

I could never keep my hope through life’s fearful path,

For my love is often cold, He must hold me fast.

Chorus

He will hold me fast. He will hold me fast.

For my Savior loves me so, He will hold me fast.

Those He saves are His delight, Christ will hold me fast.

Precious in His Holy sight, He will hold me fast.

He’ll not let my soul be lost, His promises shall last;

Bought by Him at such a cost, He will hold me fast.

For my life He bled and died, Christ will hold me fast.

Justice has been satisfied; He will hold me fast.

Raised with Him to endless life, He will hold me fast;

‘Till my faith is turned to sight when He comes at last.

Chorus

He will hold me fast. He will hold me fast.

For my Savior loves me so, He will hold me fast.

Merker discovered, as countless before him, it is God who does the saving. Our salvation is secure in Him. Our destiny is sure. The path may be filled with dense fog, hailstorms, tornadic explosions, unexplained happenings that shake us to our knees. Yet…if we are Christ’s child, HE will hold us fast!

Sunday morning, we will sing these poignant words in worship! Here is a demo link of the song to prepare your hearts, minds, and voices.

Pastor Keith

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