If you know the song that this title comes from, then you know where this blog is headed…. Yep, you guessed it! I am referring to the favorite, of many,”‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus“, by Louisa M. R. Stead. How sweet it is to put your full trust in Jesus, right? While it is a relatively easy hymn to sing along with, sometimes we do have to learn to trust him, just as the second verse begins…
We all have times where it is hard to see what God is doing in our lives, and trust in how things are going to play out. I know I found myself right in that exact spot, two months ago… I wasn’t my usual smiling, happy, beaming self, in fact, I was actually a very quiet, emotional, and beaten down person. Someone who didn’t know where I was being led to, or what I was even going through. It seemed like I was caught in a dark cloud and didn’t know my way out. I had never been asked so many times in my life if I was okay in such a short amount of time, and though I told others that I was, I truly wasn’t.
God always has a plan, Phillippians 1:6 says, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”. It is so very easy to hide away all that we were taught as small children about God’s unending love, and his grace, when we are going through a tough time, especially when we haven’t built a strong, and sturdy foundation built upon the word of God. I have since learned how important it is to have that foundation built before the storm. Instead of trying to build one during, because just like the foundation to our houses, if it’s built during a storm, it won’t be near as sturdy as one built in the sunshine.
While I was trying to figure out God’s plan, he was working it out, all right in front of me, I just had no idea that is what his plan for me was going to be. The first stanza of “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus” ends with “Thus saith the Lord” ; which appears 413 times in the Old Testament in the King James Version.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” -Hebrews 4:12. As I am sure you know, God’s word is powerful, but you know what else is? His love, for each and everyone of us. All while growing up I was taught of God’s unending love, but I never could grasp the magnitude of his love until this weekend. I always thought I knew what love was, yet, I didn’t.
Reckless Love by Cory Asbury has become a hit around our house, but I have to say, there are two parts to the song that to me, perfectly describe the overwhelming love of God,
1.) “I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away.” To me this line is the story of God’s Grace for us, He sent his son to die on the cross for each of our sins, the ultimate sacrifice….
2.) “When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me. You have been so, so good to me. When I felt no worth, You paid it all for me.” How many times have we felt completely worthless, lost, and sinful? I know personally, I can name a couple times! Yet, he loves us through the moments we have, and accepts our repentance, even when we, ourselves, don’t feel like we are worth saving.
Which brings me back to ‘Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus, when we are able to put our trust in Jesus, to bask in his glory, and see/feel his love, it is the most fulfilling, yet, overwhelming feeling ever. What if I were to tell you that Louisa wrote it after one of the most trying times in her life?
Hymnologist Kenneth Osbeck describes a major turning point in the family’s life:
“When their daughter was four years of age, the family decided one day to enjoy the sunny beach at Long Island Sound, New York. While eating their picnic lunch, they suddenly heard cries of help and spotted a drowning boy in the sea. Mr. Stead charged into the water. As often happens, however, the struggling boy pulled his rescuer under water with him, and both drowned before the terrified eyes of wife and daughter. Out of her ‘why?’ struggle with God during the ensuing days glowed these meaningful words from the soul of Louisa Stead.”https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-tis-so-sweet-to-trust-in-jesus
This is when Louisa wrote this beloved hymn, after one of her greatest trials. She went on to be a missionary, in South Africa, along with her daughter. She also served in Umtali, Southern Rhodesia (present day Zimbabwe).
We are called to go out and be disciples to the world, to be torchbearers for those who are lost, and to be ministers to a lost and dying world. ‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, yes, even through tragedy and hardships. When we build our foundations to be strong, and based upon God’s word, we set ourselves up to weather the storms of life, and come out with new life lessons, and an even closer walk with God.
What a blessing it is to trust in Jesus!!! I pray your week is a blessed one, and is filled with joy! Happy 4th of July, Friends!!