The Inspiring Story Behind “Though Troubles Assail”

Written by on June 9, 2024

Countless believers have drawn hope and strength from the timeless lyrics of “Though Troubles Assail,” a hymn that poetically declares God’s faithfulness amid life’s storms. Written in 1870 by English hymnwriter John H. Sammis, its message of divine provision in times of struggle continues to offer comfort even today. Let’s explore the origins and significance of this cherished song of faith.

Sammis’ Life Experiences Inform the Hymn

John Harrison Sammis drew from his personal life experiences in crafting this hymn’s lyrics. Born in 1846 in Philadelphia, Sammis endured his share of hardships early on – including the untimely death of his father when just a boy. This sorrow shaped his perspective that God remained near regardless of outward circumstances.

Later in adulthood, Sammis was struck down by tuberculosis and given only a short time to live by doctors. Despite the dire prognosis, he refused to succumb to despair. His resolute belief that God would see him through, either in this life or the next, inspired the hymn’s opening lines: “Though troubles assail, and dangers affright…” Even facing mortality itself, Sammis trusted the Lord would sustain and deliver in God’s perfect way and timing.

Each Verse Ponders a Trouble and God’s Response

Over the hymn’s 4 verses, Sammis pens a poetic response to a common trouble, ending each with the faithful refrain “The Lord shall provide.” In verse 1, he addresses worldly dangers that threaten but concludes the Lord remains his shield. Verse 2 tackles lack and dearth, assuring God’s provision through every needful hour.

Verse 3 reflects on lingering trials, proclaiming God’s succor will not cease till life’s poor work is done. And in the climax, Sammis sights Jesus as his great reward and heaven as his eternal home. Through every verse, an underlying assurance of God’s unwavering care and commitment to personal wellbeing shines forth.

A Message to Uplift Countless Believers

Published under the title “The Lord Will Provide” in Sammis’ 1870 hymnal collection “Heart Chords,” the hymn struck a profound chord with Christians worldwide. Its simple yet profound expression of trust in difficulties has offered light to many traversing dark valleys. Revivalists like D.L. Moody soon popularized the song across America and Europe.

Since then, “Though Troubles Assail” has retained treasured status within hymnals. Its powerful reassurance that God understands and our Provider will carry us the whole way continues giving hope to each new generation. Countless testimonies attest to its role in strengthening believers’ faith through assorted trials down through history.

Lessons of Faith for Uncertain Times

The timeless message of this hymn remains deeply relevant amid today’s uncertainties. When crises like disease outbreaks, economic turbulence or geopolitical instability assail, its unshakable confidence in our caring heavenly Father supplies comfort.

Rather than fear or bitterness, Sammis’ response was faith that no trouble could thwart God’s plans. His lyrics suggest troubles are but common to human experience, whereas divine oversight is certain. Through all, the Lord remains our shield and portion – so there is no reason to lose heart.

On life’s rough road, may we likewise follow Sammis’ lead in anchoring hope not on circumstances but the immutable character and covenant faithfulness of our loving creator. Then no matter storm clouds may gather, His peace and light will ever guide our way.

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