Back to Basics – Her Stanza of Hope

Annie Johnson Flint knew pain…but she also found Hope

by Pastor TJ Freeman – March 8, 2018

Annie was born in New Jersey on Christmas Eve 1866 to parents who adored her, but she can hardly remember. Tragically her mother giving birth to her younger sister and her father was unable to take care of the girls and they became orphans. The sisters were eventually adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Flint — both of whom died before Annie reached adulthood. Annie and her sister were twice orphaned.

Still, Annie persevered and ultimately finished school and became a teacher. She taught for 3 years, but during that time develop a crippling form of arthritis that confined her to a wheelchair — and eventually a long-term care facility where she would spend the rest of her life. Annie’s years — from birth to death — were filled with a degree of emotional and physical pain that most of us will never know. Pain and sorrow were her constant companion. As you might imagine, Annie had some questions about suffering…

Why did she have suffer so much?
And where was God in the midst of it all?

Annie recorded her thoughts in a series of poems she published. You can get a sense of her struggle — and how she overcame it in a poem called, What God Has Promised…

“God has not promised skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God has not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

God has not promised we shall not know
Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;
He has not told us we shall not bear
Many a burden, many a care.

God has not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
Never a mountain rocky and steep,
Never a river turbid and deep.”

This reflection on what God has not promised sounds almost hopeless, but the final stanza in this poem shows that Annie was not without hope:

“God has promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing kindness, undying love.”

Sometimes we wish God would make our problems disappear, but the truth is, He did not promise an easy life. He promised something better — His unfailing kindness, undying love, and grace to get through it all.

Romans 8:28 says this:
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

If you’ve trusted Christ, you can be certain that God is working all things together for your good. I can’t think of anything more hopeful than that! And friend, if you’ve never trusted Christ for salvation, understand that your trials are meant to take you to the end of yourself so you recognize your need for a savior. Look to Christ today and trust Him. If you’d like to talk about knowing Him, you can email me at

Idea/Concept: TJ Freeman
Videography: Kaitlyn Callahan
Video Editing: Kaitlyn Callahan
Writing: TJ Freeman

Produced by Vogt Media
Funded by Sherwood Motel, Wellsboro Bible Church

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