How God Gave Me a Song

Sheet musicThe year is 1676. 100 years before the Declaration of Independence.

German composer Samuel Rodigast composes a hymn, “Whatever My God Ordains is Right,” to encourage a friend who is suffering. Almost 200 years later, in 1863, Catherine Winkworth translates the hymn into English.

Fast forward to 2007. My daughter Beth, who has suffered with migraines for 7 years finds herself 250 miles from home shooting photos at a friend’s wedding. The past couple years have been painful for Beth in many ways – a good friend lost her 2-year old daughter to cancer and another friend’s car accident left him in a coma.

Sunday morning she attends a local church and hears a message on – surprise – God?s sovereignty in suffering. In his message, the pastor quotes a hymn, ?Whatever My God Ordains is Right?. Beth brings the lyrics home to me, asking, “Dad, can you try put music to these words?” I write a melody and the song gets on a Sovereign Grace Music CD. Since then, a number of people have told me how much the lyrics have comforted them. Little did Samuel Rodigast suspect in 1676 that his lyrics would comfort my daughter Beth and others over 300 years later. God?s providence never ceases to amaze me.

I hope these lyrics comfort you.

Whatever My God Ordains is Right

Whatever my God ordains is right
In his love I am abiding
I will be still in all he does
And follow where he is guiding
He is my God; though dark my road
He holds me that I shall not fall
And so to him I leave it all.

Whatever my God ordains is right
He never will deceive me
He leads me by the proper path
I know he will not leave me
I take content, what he has sent
His hand can turn my griefs away
And patiently I wait his day.

Whatever my God ordains is right
Though now this cup in drinking
Bitter it seems to my faint heart
I take it all unshrinking
My God is true; each morn anew
Sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart
And pain and sorrow shall depart.

Whatever my God ordains is right
Here shall my stand be taken
Though sorrow, or need, or death be mine
Yet I am not forsaken
My Father’s care circles me there
He holds me that I shall not fall
And so to him I leave it all.

Original lyrics by Samuel Rodigast and translated by Catherine Winkworth -Trinity Hymnal #94. Alternate lyrics and music by Mark Altrogge 2.18.07. You can download this song from the CD “In a Little While” at Sovereign Grace Music.

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I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I’ve written a lot of worship songs. I also like to paint.


  1. says

    One of the things that is much on my mind lately is that although I know and believe that whatever God ordains is right and that suffering is a necessary means to spiritual growth and joy, I am afraid of it and I hesitate to make decisions and go down paths that I know are right and will be costly (in terms of personal comfort and easiness).

    Thanks for the song.


  2. says

    Hi Georges,

    It takes real humility to admit your fears. I’m right with you – I don’t naturally want to choose paths that are going to be costly, and sadly, many times I’ve given in to fear, often to the fear of man.

    I don’t know what kinds of decisions you are facing, but I know this – just as God provided manna in the desert each day, God provides grace each day for every situation we face. There will be grace. Those 4 words have helped me a lot lately. Ed Welch’s book, Running Scared, talks about this, as does Future Grace by John Piper.

    My trials are peewee compared to many I know, but I’ve always found that in every trial, Jesus has been with me. He tells us “Fear not, for I am with you.”

    I pray the Lord will fill you his joy today. Thanks for your comments – I think lots of people can relate.

  3. says

    Thank-you Mark for your encouraging words.

    I was reading Psalm 138:8 today and it brought my thoughts back to this song.

    “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.”


  4. Tim says

    Psalm 138:8 – that is one of the selections on “Weight Of Glory”. The scripture-memory-to-music thing is working for me, Mark!

  5. says

    Whatever My God Ordains is my favorite song on the album!!! (My 2nd is At the Cross.) It has been a huge blessing and I’ve used it often to grab my soul and preach the truth of God’s Word to it.

    Thank you!!!


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