As a young child, I enjoyed sitting on the porch and listening to my grandfather sing the old hymns. He led the singing at a small, country church, and sometimes he would ask me to play the piano. I learned many hymns at an early age, but did not fully understand the significant part they would play in my life as I grew older.
Songs of praise, songs of promise and songs of petition are priceless when written by godly men and women whose sole desire is to glorify God. Many of the old hymns that speak to the heart were written by those who experienced a great trial or a turning point in their lives. One such hymn, “’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus,” was written by Louisa M. R. Stead who experienced a personal tragedy when her husband drowned while attempting to save a young boy in the sea. The heartfelt words that she penned have been echoed from the hearts of multitudes down through the years as they faced trials over which they had no control.
In 2004, I experienced a major trial in my life as I faced surgery for a large tumor that ended up being ovarian cancer. There were many unknowns at the time, but I found sweet consolation in the Psalms. Psalm 94:19 often reminded me of the comforts the Lord gives. One special comfort given to me was the old hymn, “’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.” The simple yet profound truths written by Louisa Stead were an encouragement to my soul as I sang them. Jesus was precious to me for I had proved Him over and over, but in this trial I needed greater grace. My daily petition was, “O for grace to trust Him more.”
“Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His word;
Just to rest upon His promise;
Just to know, “Thus saith the Lord.”
O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
Just in simple faith to plunge me
‘Neath the healing, cleansing flood!
Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.
I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more.
Truly, the Lord gives songs in the night. This precious hymn continues to give solace to my soul in the midst of life’s challenges, and my daily prayer is still “O for grace to trust Him more.”
Charlene Allison is the wife of Dr. Mark Allison, president of Geneva Reformed Seminary. They live in Greenville, SC.