Rhythms of Grace

No eye has seen
No ear has heard
The depths of Your love Lord
No mind can fathom
The love You deserve
How great You are

So goes the famous lyrics of the bridge to the song Rhythms of Grace, written by Hillsong United.

Rhythms of Grace is one of those songs which I really love but I do not listen to much. When I do hear it though, it just takes me into a place of intense personal worship. And then after it is over, I move on and forget just how good the song is.

It was included in the Hillsong United album Aftermath which was released in early 2011, with the original recording in late 2010. The YouTube clip I have embedded above is from the team’s performance Live in Miami. If you want to fast track to the bridge, skip to 3:53.

The song title is a little cryptic given the chorus is a very short “There’s none besides You God” ditty and the actual line where “rhythms of grace” is mentioned is the first line of Verse 2, and that is the only mention in the entire song. Thematically though, the whole song is appropriate focused around “rhythms of grace”.

Written by Chris Davenport and Dean Ussher, the first two verses start the song from a personal reflection stance, but appropriately focused on God. This is shown in our lives and will are second to that of God. As Jesus commands as the #1 rule in Matthew 22:37:

Love the Lord Your God, with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

In this way, we reserve all the depths of our heart. This is later echoed by the depth of God’s love for us, as the bridge sings out.

As mentioned earlier, the second verse introduces us to the titular concept of “rhythms of grace”. Is a creative way, in my opinion, of expressing the same phrase “heart of God”, or “God’s love”. The rhythms of grace are the manifestations of God’s love for us. The unchanging pattern of God’s nature and His heavenly immeasurable love for us is a heart beat signature attuned to the rhythm of grace. In being drawn to God’s love, our sinful nature that otherwise would have resulted in our eternal damnation and separation from God is constantly overcome and overwhelmed by God’s compassion and grace. It is only by the grace of God that we can find forgiveness at the foot of the cross. In having received the grace of God through his gift freely given – Jesus, who took upon Himself all our sin – we are then compelled to align to God’s will and follow Him. Following Him is the challenge laid out for us as believers, in walking the path that God lays out before us – following His footstep. The verse culminates in giving God the glory – the objective of our lives in worship of Him.

The chorus shifts us up a gear to praising God – proclaiming and declaring that there is NO one besides You, God. Musically, the verses follow a repeated melodic pattern where it repeats twice to form a musical emphasis where the third line is sung slightly lower and the fourth/last part of the verse provides a form of resolution and close. The style of the song is also intended that the verses are always sung in couplets. The chorus melody shifts up an octave to create a contrast whereby it is more uplifting, and appropriately so given the nature of the lyrics. Another key characteristic of this song is the (electric) guitar riff, which is the quick succession of five strums played off-beat. The constant riffs throughout the entire song make it quite driven as a result.

In the form of a crest, it is like the chorus helps us to build through from our personal/ individual position to declaring characteristics of God. It becomes a declaration of faith in saying that God is there in the dark of night. As sung in the third verse literally, the triumph of God is sovereign. With that, we remind ourselves of the chorus stanza – there is no one besides You God to worship.

In the second chorus, all four lines are sung to the same tune, so I would advocate it helps to build up the energy and direction of the song leading towards the bridge. This second chorus helps to create a consistent melodic feel as part of this ramp up. The instrumental with the piano solo of trills creates an energetic atmosphere of free worship. In the performance shown above the band also includes a xylophone playing the same trill melody. Along with the solid drumming, and as shown from 3:07 through to the 3:53, this 45 second instrumental is humming.

This energy and passion built up from the repeated chorus finally breaks out into the bridge which is the peak of the song. The lyrics are declared over and over – no one has seen or heard the true depth of God’s love. Whilst the nature of God is indescribable,  incomprehensible and mysterious, we are nonetheless compelled to worship and love You oh God. Whilst the final line of the bridge “How great You are” is easily aligned with the rest of the bridge, I would suggest that the third line “The love You deserve” is the more curiously worded one which deserves some attention here. It is hard to understand how much we should love God? Is it easier to understand how much God loves us? Not that we should compare the levels of understanding for the two concepts… Since the focus of “the love You deserve” is rightly on God, I can make peace with the sentiment of the bridge. If the lyrics had read something about God loving us (the reverse), it would have shifted the focus away from God back to us, which would have created an inconsistent theme/message given the rest of the song.

In the YouTube performance by Hillsong United, after the bridge “triumph”, the song has a diminuendo back to a vocal-only singing of the chorus – “there’s none beside You, God!” which is purely congregation driven – a beautiful end to a most beautiful worship song.

No song lyric analysis is complete without the actual lyrics. I would quickly point out that the YouTube description of the lyrics incorrectly attributes the Second Chorus lines to being a part of the bridge.

Verse 1
My life is a life for Your cause
My will laid aside for Your call
And reserved all the depth of my heart
Only for You

Verse 2
I’m caught in the rhythms of grace
They overcome all of my ways
We align in each step that we take
To live for Your glory

There’s none besides You God
There’s none besides You God

Verse 3
You’re there in the dark of the night
While holding the sun and its light
Through the triumph and trials alike
There’s no one beside You

Verse 4
Your voice calls the stars by their name
You whisper them all to their place
To testify of Your wonder and praise
Both now and forever


Chorus 2
There’s none besides You God
There’s none besides You God
I live my life to shine Your light
Cause there is none besides You God


No eye has seen
No ear has heard
The depths of Your love Lord


No mind can fathom
The love You deserve
How great You are