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  • Jonathan Chan & Sng Li-Hwei

On ‘My Life is in Your Hands’

At the beginning of the recording of ‘My Life is in Your Hands’ (1997), written by renowned Gospel singer and leader Kirk Franklin and performed by the Texan gospel choir God’s Property, Franklin, as praise leader, speaks:

No matter what you're going through

I know that you can stand

For your life is in, in His hands



This sets the tone for the song: one of care, compassion, and fundamentally of ministry. It is a song for the weary, the disappointed, the anxious, and the downtrodden. It is a song for whoever is experiencing doubt, fear, and hopelessness.

The song holds to a conventional gospel structure of song and response, but also functions almost as a lullaby, a soothing balm for the anxious and troubled.

It is a song for those in the midst of the turmoil experienced by the speaker in Psalm 77, who cries:

Will the Lord reject forever?

Will he never show his favour again?

Has his unfailing love vanished forever?

Has his promise failed for all time?


This is a turmoil proximate to our own lives, experienced amidst the distress of believing the Father has turned His face from us.

Perhaps it is the result of the gripping pain of illness, a reminder of mortal fragility in the face of premature birth or death, the anxiety of an uncertain future, or the duress of rejection or persecution.

As we look beyond ourselves, we see a world embroiled in sectarian violence, barbarous cruelty, anthropogenic change, and other shades of chaos and decay. We intercede for the world and for ourselves, crying to the Lord in recognition of our helplessness, and vulnerability.

One of the means by which we may find ourselves reassured and humbled is by looking upon creation, experiencing a sense of how marvellous it is, and reflecting on the awe that God inspires. He holds all things together – the rising and setting of the sun, the rain that cools the parched earth, the landscapes in which we have found ourselves homed.

It is as the Lord proclaims to Job, He who has entered the storehouses of snow, who has dispersed lightning, who has allowed a desolate wasteland to sprout with grass. Amidst this beauty and grandeur, God extends his care and compassion to our fallen world and each person in it. At its core is the radiance of pure love.

The oft-cited verse John 3:16 is a recording of an utterance of Jesus, who shares that it was for God’s love of the world that He gave His only Son that there might be pathways to salvation, redemption, and reconciliation with Him.

It is a tremendous love that has taken physical form, that exists in specific time and place, that meets us as we are.

It is a love that has lived and suffered in the life of Christ – born in a lowly stable, raised as the son of a carpenter, displaced as a refugee under Herod’s regime, conscious of the temporal limits of His time on earth, and punished by religious hypocrisy and the cruelty of empire.

Christ was humiliated and rejected by His own creation, abandoned by those He loved most, and subject to excruciating pain, experiencing death for our sake. It is the ultimate sacrifice, one that confounds the logical mind, that once led hymnist Charles Wesley to write, ‘Amazing love, how can it be?’

In the resurrected Christ, we have a friend who accompanies each and every moment of our lives. In Matthew 28, Jesus offers the comforting reminder that He is with us ‘to the very end of the age’.

He uses the metaphor of the shepherd, the vocation that has so often informed our understanding of the role of the pastor, to describe how He knows us, leads us through dark valleys, and lays his life down for us (John 10, Psalm 23).

He intercedes on our behalf to the Father, giving us confidence that we can seek grace and help in times of need (Hebrews 4), and reminds us that God always watches over us (2 Chronicles 16, 2 Luke).

In all these ways, Jesus extends to us His peace, instructing that we be neither troubled nor afraid (John 14), that we not worry about our lives each day (Matthew 6).

By endurance, we are shaped ever more in the image of Christ, found in Him, and hold to a faith that creates righteousness within us (Philippians 3). We are able to emulate the lives of those who have come before us, those who pursued their callings in obedience and waited patiently in faith (Hebrews 11).

It is when we are comforted by the presence of Jesus that we are able to extend that same comfort to others; 2 Corinthians 1 reminds us the Lord is a God of compassion and comfort, who ‘comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.’ To quote our guest preacher Stephen Chan, peace is found in God’s presence, while joy is found in God’s praise.

Therefore, when we find ourselves in trying circumstances that discourage us, wound us, or test us, we can do as Jesus did: we can withdraw and pray.

We can look to the world that God created and remember the kindness and faithfulness of the Lord in our lives.

We can remember that the whole world rests in the hands of the Lord; the 14th-century English medieval mystic Julian of Norwich famously describes it as ‘a little thing the quantity of a hazelnut’, resting in a palm.

We can give thanks in all circumstances, as described in 1 Thessalonians 5, and lift our hands in prayer and surrender, offering ourselves to be shaped and moulded as clay for His glory.

This is a narrative arc that ‘My Life is in Your Hands’ follows. Its lyrics may be simple, but serve as a powerful prayer for those in the midst of distress:

You don’t have to worry, and don’t you be afraid

Joy comes in the morning, troubles, they don’t last always

For there’s a friend named Jesus, who will wipe your tears away

And when your heart is broken, just lift your hands and say


I know that I can make it

I know that I can stand

No matter what may come my way

My life is in Your hands


With Jesus I can take it

With Him I know I can stand

No matter what may come my way

My life is in Your hands


So when your tests and trials

They seem to get you down

And all your friends and loved ones

Are nowhere to be found

Remember there’s a friend named Jesus

who will wipe your tears away

And when your heart is broken, just lift your hands and say


Oh, I know that I can make it

I know that I can stand

No matter what may come my way

My life is in Your hands

(Emphasis ours)


‘My Life is in Your Hands’ was written by the gospel singer and praise leader Kirk Franklin, and also serves as a testimony of his own life.

Franklin was abandoned as an infant by his biological mother and never knew his father. He was raised in Fort Worth, Texas by his Great-aunt Gertrude, a woman of faith who paid for Franklin’s piano lessons as a child by collecting aluminium cans.

Franklin’s prodigious musical talent would lead to him directing adult choirs as an 11-year old, but he walked away from the church as a teenager. It was a pivotal moment in his adolescence that would draw him back – at 15, Franklin describes how he was ‘smoking and drinking and just kind of doing the fool.’ His friend, a devoted churchgoer, was killed when a firearm fell from a shelf and was discharged while he was looking for a blank tape with which to record a church musical.

Franklin would return to church and continue to compose and record songs, forming the vocal ensemble The Family. His emergence as a promising gospel artist would happen when he was signed to a recording contract in 1992.

Unlike other gospel artists, with their displays of vocal virtuosity, as Vinson Cunningham describes, The Family ‘sang in sweet, perfectly blended, middle-of-the-register unison, splitting into three-part harmony only toward the propulsive endings of their songs.’

His first album Kirk Franklin and the Family, would go on to sell a million copies and become the first gospel debut to go platinum.


Unlike many other artists, Franklin’s style has stretched beyond the boundaries of what may typically be considered gospel music. Franklin draws on an array of musical influences, including R&B, arena rock, hip hop, pop, and jazz, which has allowed him to develop a distinctive musical style.

It is a style that has been able to reach across ethnic and socioeconomic divides and reach out to new generations who had grown up amidst turbulent societal changes in the 2000s, an appeal to youth that made him stand out among gospel artists.

Franklin has always been concerned with the social responsibility of the church in the United States – critiquing the history of Western Christianity, he describes its ‘duplicitous layers of engagement with history that must be addressed from chattel slavery, to socio-economic disparity, to the health and leadership of women’.

However, it is Franklin’s focus on the personal that distinguishes him – he focuses on writing to others, 'hoping that the particulars of his life would strike a universal chord in both believers and unbelievers'.

Over the course of his musical career, Franklin has received 20 Grammy awards. It is out of Franklin’s contributions that  ‘My Life is in Your Hands’ was released, first in 1997, then again alongside the praise team Maverick City in 2022.

The CCMC Gospel Choir will be presenting ‘My Life is in Your Hands’ during Worship Service on 30 June 2024. The song was chosen out of a desire to minister to the weariness and fatigue that our congregation may be experiencing.

However, we could not have foreseen how circumstances would align to create something unanticipated and new.

During rehearsal with the main service worship team, Jonathan happened to be singing the song, to which our AV Executive Mabel remarked, was a song the Hallelujah Chorus were rehearsing.

The Hallelujah Chorus was formed by ladies from CCMC’s Japanese Fellowship, which is part of their outreach ministry to the Japanese community in Singapore and provides opportunities to sing both in Japanese and English.

Five ladies from the Hallelujah Chorus will be coming alongside the CCMC Gospel Choir to sing ‘My Life is in Your Hands’.

In addition, service on 30 June will also be the first time that our Pastor Joheun Park, who leads our Korean-English bilingual service, will be preaching to the main congregation in English.

‘My Life is in Your Hands’ will thus be a song of comfort not only to the congregation, but also to Pastor Park. We pray that grace will be extended to him in his preaching.  

In God’s perfect wisdom and timing, He has led us to join our voices and ministries  together to reaffirm that He holds us all in the palm of His loving hands.

We hope that the song will be a symbol of compassion and unity, with choir members of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean descent (Jonathan is of Korean heritage and leads worship at the Korean-English service), lifting their hands in unison, praising the Lord for his unfailing love.



  1. Brad Barnes, ‘Tragedy shaped Kirk Franklin's journey’, Chron, 11 June 2006.

  2. Courtney Dabney, ‘Grammy Award Winner and Fort Worth Native Kirk Franklin Shares The Story Behind His New Album Father’s Day’, Paper City, 15 April 2024.

  3. Joshua Dudley, ‘Exclusive Kirk Franklin Interview: Inviting Everyone To The Table With The Second Season Of ‘Good Words’ Podcast’, Forbes, 7 October 2022.

  4. Kirk Franklin, ‘My Life is in Your Hands’, CCLI Song #2131807, © 1996 Lilly Mack Music. For use solely with the SongSelect® Terms of Use. All rights reserved. CCLI License # 259075

  5. ‘Kirk Franklin’, Yamaha, 2022.

  6. Vinson Cunningham, ‘How Kirk Franklin Is Pushing the Boundaries of Gospel’, The New Yorker, 8 January 2017


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