Hymn History—Surprised by Greatness

How Great Thou Art, Carl Gustav Boberg (1885)

Carl Gustav Boberg was a 26-year-old Swedish pastor who got caught in a fierce thunderstorm after church one day. From his place in the mountains, he watched the storm viciously sweep through the countryside. After the storm, he took in the sight of a rainbow, birds singing and church bells ringing and was overcome by God’s majesty. His response to the amazement and adoration he felt was writing “O Store Gud,” which was translated by an English missionary in 1949.

May you be surprised by God’s greatness today.

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There is none like you, O Lord;
you are great, and your name is great in might.
Jeremiah 10:6

For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
Psalm 96:4

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.
1 Chronicles 29:11

Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.
Isaiah 12:6

For your steadfast love is great above the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Psalm 108:4

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Esther Laurie
Esther Laurie is a staff writer at ChurchLeaders.com. Her background is in communication and church ministry. She believes in the power of the written word and the beauty of transformation and empowering others. When she’s not working, she loves running, exploring new places and time with friends and family. It’s her goal to work the word ‘whimsy’ into most conversations.