‘He Will Hold Me Fast’ – 20schemes Music

Introduction – by Sol Fenne

A few years ago at a Niddrie Community Church weekend away we sang Matt Merker’s re-working of the hymn ‘He Will Hold Me Fast’. For us at 20schemes, this hymn fast became a much-loved anthem. In all the toil, struggles, joys and seeming setbacks of church-planting in council estates, the truth that God is indeed holding us fast is a vital truth that provides us and believers everywhere with the strength to get through each day. Matt Merker is married to Erica and they have a daughter, Lena. Matt is a hymn writer, musician and a pastoral assistant at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC. Matt wrote the following blog for 20schemes.

He Will Hold Me Fast – by Matt Merker

Matt Merker, assistant pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church

I praise God for how he is calling people to himself and building churches through the faithful work of 20schemes. Having known the leaders of this ministry for many years, I am encouraged by their evident zeal to see the good news of Jesus transform lives in the schemes of Scotland. I studied in Edinburgh in 2005, and while the dramatic scenery and rich history of the city give it a unique beauty, there is nothing more beautiful than what is happening by God’s grace in that city’s communities (and elsewhere in Scotland) that have been so overlooked by this world, as 20schemes seeks to exalt Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I can identify with the man who tells Jesus, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’ (Mark 9:23). My faith doesn’t always seem strong. Questions and doubts sometimes flood my mind. I don’t have it all figured out. It is in times of uncertainty that I need to be reminded of one central truth: He will hold me fast.

God’s Word teaches us that we are saved by God’s grace alone (Ephesians 2:8). We receive God’s forgiveness as a free gift, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ. But total dependence on God isn’t just how we begin the Christian life. It’s how we keep on walking with Christ to the very end. We are sustained, preserved, and kept in the faith by God’s grace alone as well.

I encountered the words of this hymn a few years ago when I was walking through a particularly dark season of stubborn doubt. I desperately wanted to hold on to Christ, but it felt like my weak fingers were losing their grip. This song reminded me that as I hold on to Christ, he is holding on to me even more firmly, with a grasp that will never let go. Jesus promises, ‘All that the Father gives to me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out’ (John 6:37). Later he says, ‘I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand’ (John 10:28).

This hymn is honest about the challenges of the Christian life. We sometimes ‘feel’ that our faith might ‘fail’. Our path is ‘fearful’ and our love for God is ‘often cold’. But the original hymn writer, Ada Habershon, calls us not to place our hope in our feelings or in how well we seem to be holding onto God. Rather, she reminds us that ‘his promises shall last’. He has bought us at ‘such a cost’ – the blood of Christ – and therefore he will keep us to the end. By rehearsing these truths, struggling pilgrims like me can find our confidence renewed, because our confidence is not in ourselves. It is in the One who holds us fast. He is the one ‘who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy’ (Jude 24).

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The band for this video features: Vocals – Cara Mairi Bell, Piano – Carlie Fenne, Guitar – Pete Bell, Bass – David Biddulph, Drums – Sol Fenne, Cello – Florence Bonacina-Pugh.

VERSE 1

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 hold
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 saviour loves me so
He will hold me fast

VERSE 2

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.

CHORUS

He will hold me fast
He will hold me fast
For my saviour loves me so
He will hold me fast

VERSE 3

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 our faith is turned to sight
When he comes at last.

CHORUS

He will hold me fast
He will hold me fast
For my saviour loves me so
He will hold me fast

Posted by Sol Fenne

Sol is on the Gracemount Community Church team having previously been a member at Niddrie Community Church since 2008. Sol has gigged and recorded in various different bands and ensembles for 20 years. He was a drummer in the Royal Marines (2000-2009) and a Police Officer (2009-2016). Sol also composes original music and is currently studying for a BA(hons) in Popular Music at Edinburgh Napier University. Sol is married to Carlie and they have two children Hamish and Betsie.

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