(Go here for lead sheets and chord charts.)


1. Light after darkness, gain after loss
Strength after weakness, crown after cross
Sweet after bitter, hope after fears
Home after wandering, praise after tears

Weeping may remain for a night
But joy arrives in morning’s new light
I’ll praise the God of merciful plight
Still I will praise Him
Still I will praise Him
My God

2. Near after distant, gleam after gloom
Love after loneliness, life after tomb
After long agony, rapture of bliss
Right was the pathway leading to this

You give and You take away
In darkness still I will say
“A good God I serve this day”
Still I will praise You
Still I will praise You

Words: Frances Ridley Havergal, 1879 (verses); Zac Hicks, 2008 (chorus & bridge, based on Psalm 30:5 & Job 1:12)
Music: Zac Hicks, 2008
©2009 Unbudding Fig Music (ASCAP)




“Light After Darkness” has been for my church a thematic bridge between the shadowy time of Lent and the luminous celebration of Easter.  It is an old hymn, written in 1879 by Frances Ridley Havergal, most famous for  her hymn, “Take My Life and Let it Be.”  “Light After Darkness” is like an impressionist’s painting, with short bursts of phrases here and there which, in the grand scheme, create a beautiful portrait.  The picture painted is this: One day, God will right all wrongs and out of our suffering will be revealed God’s good purpose.  Just as through the dark corridor of Lent we see the light of Easter, so too we look down the tunnel of our life, with all its pain and brokenness, and see the light of God’s resurrection—His re-creation of the world and His ushering in the new heavens and the new earth, recorded in Revelation.  I discovered this hymn text a few months ago when the Lord brought a difficult trial into the life of my family, and its message gripped me.  As I read the hymn, phrases from the book of Psalms (Psalm 30:5) and the book of Job (Job 1:21) reverberated in my heart.  They became the chorus and bridge of this congregational song.  Here is no “shiny-happy,” fake Christianity.  It is raw and real.  It is where the marrow of human life meets the majesty of a sovereign God.  It teaches us that worship is a choice more than a feeling…that the hope of what God has in store is worth holding onto.