Thanks to God

This sacred song is another Swedish heritage. There is so much gratitude, warmth of text and a folk-like quality in the music that appeals to any believer. “Thanks to God!” is one of the most popular Swedish hymns that found its way into many evangelical hymnals.

August Ludvig Storm was born on October, 1862, in Motala, and converted to Christ in a Salvation Army meeting. He joined the Salvation Army Corps and became one of its leading officers. He wrote this hymn’s text for the Army publication, Stridsropet (The War Cry), on December 5, 1891. The Original Swedish version had four stanzas, with each verse beginning with the word ‘tack’ (thanks,” having a total of thirty-two “thanks” in all.) The gratitude expressed to God ranges from the “dark and dreary fall” to the “pleasant, balmy springtime,” and “pain” as well as “pleasure.”

Storm suffered a back ailment at the age of 37 that left him crippled for life but he continued to administer his Salvation Army duties until his death. A year before his death, he wrote another poem in which he thanked God for the years of calm as well as pain.

Storm’s text later appeared in the Swedish Salvation Army songbook with a Welsh tune. It wasn’t until 1910, when J.A. Hultman included the text with his own tune in the publication Solskenssonger, that the hymn became popular, both in Sweden and in the U.S.

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We sang this in church today. It’s a great hymn which reminds us to be grateful to our omnipotent God and provider.

Lyrics: August Ludvig Storm
Music:  John Alfred Hultman

Thanks, O God, for boundless mercy
From Thy gracious throne above
Thanks for ev’ry need provided
From the fullness of Thy love
Thanks for daily toil and labour
And for rest when shadows fall
Thanks for love of friend and neighbour
And Thy goodness unto all

Thanks for thorns as well as roses
Thanks for weakness and for health
Thanks for clouds as well as sunshine
Thanks for poverty and wealth!
Thanks for pain as well as pleasure
All Thou sendest day by day
And Thy Word our dearest treasure
Shedding light upon our way

Thanks, O God, for home and fireside
Where we share our daily bread
Thanks for hours of sweet communion
When by Thee our souls are fed!
Thanks for grace in time of sorrow
And for joy and peace in Thee
Thanks for hope today, tomorrow
And for all eternity!

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5 Responses to “Thanks to God”

  1. Paul Sale says:

    As a person who has been both pastor and layman, I consider this song to the the supreme Thanksgiving song of all time. Thanks for giving me some details of his life.

  2. IM says:

    My great grandfather wrote the music and this is the first time I’ve heard it. Nice! Thanks for posting it. The musical skills in our family skipped a couple generations and showed up in my niece who is an accomplished pianist. I’m sure she’d love to play it.

  3. Sarah says:

    Thank you for posting this hymn. It is well-loved among many in the Covenant denomination, and at the retirement home I serve as chaplain, we sing it every year at Thanksgiving.

  4. Sarah says:

    Hello again,
    I just realized you have a little different translation than I have seen before. Here is the translation we usually sing:

    Thanks to God for my Redeemer,
    Thanks for all Thou dost provide!
    Thanks for times now but a memory,
    Thanks for Jesus by my side!
    Thanks for pleasant, balmy springtime,
    Thanks for dark and stormy fall!
    Thanks for tears by now forgotten,
    Thanks for peace within my soul!

    Thanks for prayers that Thou hast answered,
    Thanks for what Thou dost deny!
    Thanks for storms that I have weathered,
    Thanks for all Thou dost supply!
    Thanks for pain, and thanks for pleasure,
    Thanks for comfort in despair!
    Thanks for grace that none can measure,
    Thanks for love beyond compare!

    Thanks for roses by the wayside,
    Thanks for thorns their stems contain!
    Thanks for home and thanks for fireside,
    Thanks for hope, that sweet refrain!
    Thanks for joy and thanks for sorrow,
    Thanks for heav’nly peace with Thee!
    Thanks for hope in the tomorrow,
    Thanks through all eternity!

  5. Mercy says:

    This is a very nice and effective hymn. Whether I am in pleasure or trouble, I always find that this hymn is helpful. Whether it is in a religious context at church, or as a whistle in my weekdays as layman, it is always helpful. Today’s church should sing this kind of song more often, rather than too-happy-for-nice-things or too-gloomy song.. (just my opinion)

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