Posted by Simon Hawkins on 2 October 2015

Having spent a number of years as a full-time staff songwriter at Universal in Nashville I felt a very strong leading from God to go back to where I had spent a number of years: oil industry finance, specifically to be ‘a light in a very dark place’.

2014 turned out to be a catastrophic year for the oil company I’d been working with for several years. In the space of a few months this $3bn company was brought to its knees as a result of several extreme events: scandal, terrorism and persecution.

It was a troubling time, but I believed the feelings I had were probably far from unique to me and common to many other people in different situations.

So, when October came around and I was preparing for a concert in the US I knew that I wanted to write something that helped to express a way of responding to these feelings.

As I thought back on the events, the lyrics came. There was the multi-million dollar unauthorised payments scandal among the top executives (“the pride of man and earthly gain”), ISIS threatening operations having captured territory just 20 miles from the company’s operations in Iraq (“Nations rise and nations fall”), Al Shabab halting operations and killing all Christians in East Africa (“When darkness veils His radiant face”) and Ebola disrupting operations in Nigeria.

The result was ‘He Is God’, and behind the hymn lies a fundamental truth that in the bigger picture of eternity the struggles we have each day are here for a relatively small moment (“To glory He will call me home”). The Creator of the universe can, if He chooses, move in an extraordinary way to change everything. And sometimes He does (“Author of all”).

Sitting in my church on Sunday I have found that fundamental truth a great comfort as I dedicate each week ahead to Him (“I’ll rest in His unfailing love”). I thought it would make a great hymn to be reminded of this comfort and to make that available to the broader Body of Christ. This is why I’m thrilled to have the hymn chosen.

I wish I could say that the oil company has turned a corner and survived. That isn’t the case today and it’s unclear as to whether it will. But I can say I know that He is still God and I am confident that His Will for both the company and for my life will prevail.


Simon Hawkins is a songwriter living in West Sussex. In March ‘He Is God’ was announced the winner of the first WeAreWorship Search For A Hymn competition.

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