Posted by: rcottrill | December 5, 2011

I Am Trusting Thee, Lord Jesus

Words: Frances Ridley Havergal (b. Dec. 14, 1836; June 3, 1879)
Music: Bullinger, by Ethelbert William Bullinger (b. Dec. 15, 1837; June 6, 1913)

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: This is said to have been Frances Havergal’s favourite, of all the hymns she wrote. The words were found in her pocket Bible after her death. The hymn was written in 1874, while she was in Switzerland. Dr. Bullinger, composer of the tune that bears his name, was a Hebrew and Greek scholar, but he also studied music and was a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral.

There is a “Whom?” when it comes to our trust, and there’s also a “For what?” After all, we can put our faith in just about anything. Can we trust the cabbage the refrigerator to help us? Sure, if we’re looking to make coleslaw. But for salvation, for the present needs of our souls, and our eternal destiny, we must look to the Lord. Miss Havergal is quite clear on that. She has put her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in Him only (CH-1).

God’s salvation is not only great, it is free. That is, we are saved by the grace of God, His unearned, unmerited favour (Eph. 2:8-9). No good works, no family connection, no church ritual can add anything to that. If we were able to contribute anything to it, then it would no more be of grace (Rom. 4:4-5).

Stanzas CH-2 and 3, omitted from many hymn books may be speaking of the initial saving work of God, but they also fit His continuing work in the Christian’s walk of faith. When we, as believers, stumble into sin, we can claim the cleansing and forgiveness won for us at the cross (CH-2; cf. I Jn. 1:7, 9). Then, the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit will continue to strengthen us in a holy walk (CH-2; cf. Gal. 5:16).

CH-2) I am trusting Thee for pardon;
At Thy feet I bow;
For Thy grace and tender mercy,
Trusting now.

CH-3) I am trusting Thee for cleansing
In the crimson flood;
Trusting Thee to make me holy
By Thy blood.

In stanzas CH-4 and 5, the author deals with two more essentials in our Christian lives. We need the guidance of God, and the power of God, if we are to do as we ought. With the psalmist we pray, “Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day” (Ps. 25:4-5), and “Strengthen me according to Your word” (Ps. 119:28; cf. Ps. 27:14).

Among Frances Havergal’s dying words were these: “Not one thing hath failed; tell them all ‘round: Trust Jesus! It’s simply trusting Jesus.” CH-6 gives us a fitting conclusion to this great prayer hymn. There is a desire that, weak and fallible as we are, we can only maintain a godly walk by God’s grace, and as He supports us. Daily, we reach up in faith, trusting the Lord Jesus “forever and for all.”

CH-6) I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus;
Never let me fall;
I am trusting Thee forever,
And for all.

1) What do you believe is the greatest obstacle to consistent trust in the Lord?

2) What is something for which you recently trusted God, and He provided?

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal


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