JESUS, LOVER OF MY SOUL
Charles Wesley, 1707–1788
The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him. (Nahum 1:7)
The universal recognition of a personal dependence upon the infinite God has no doubt made this appealing hymn the best loved of the more than 6500 texts of Charles Wesley.
Written shortly after Charles’ “heart-warming” experience at the Adlersgate Hall in London in 1738, this text has since brought comfort and inspiration to countless numbers during “the storms of life.”
The simple yet vivid language of this hymn gives it a special quality. Some have called it the “finest heart-hymn in the English language.” Also the exaltation of Christ is truly noteworthy in such picturesque terms as “lover,” “healer,” “fountain,” “wing,” and “pilot.” But possibly the greatest appeal of these lines is the assurance they give of Christ’s consolation and protection through all of life and then for eternity.
There is no authenticated information as to what particular situation caused Wesley to write this text. A frightening storm at sea that he experienced while returning home from America may account for the nautical references. A story also has been mentioned of a bird flying into Charles’ cabin for safety, while another incident is given of his hiding under a hedge after an attack by an angry mob opposing his ministry. Still others see this text as a picture of Wesley’s own life as a young man as he struggled to find his peace with God before his dramatic Aldersgate conversion experience.
How important it is that we learn the truth taught in these words!
Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to Thy bosom fly. While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high! Hide me, O my Savior, hide—till the storm of life is past; safe into the haven guide, O receive my soul at last!
Other refuge have I none—hangs my helpless soul on Thee. Leave, ah, leave me not alone; still support and comfort me! All my trust on Thee is stayed—All my help from Thee I bring. Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing.
Thou, O Christ, art all I want, more than all in Thee I find. Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, heal the sick and lead the blind. Just and holy is Thy name—I am all unrighteousness; false and full of sin I am; Thou art full of truth and grace.
Plenteous grace with Thee is found, grace to cover all my sin; let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within. Thou of life the fountain art— Freely let me take of Thee; spring Thou up within my heart; rise to all eternity.
For Today: Psalm 37:39, 40; 2 Corinthians 1:3–7; Revelation 7:17
Remember to fly to Christ for refuge whenever the “storm of life” becomes overwhelming. He alone is our refuge and the one true foundation of life.
Osbeck, K. W.
- But the salvation of the righteous man shall be of the Lord: he shall be their strength in the time of trouble. For the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and shall save them, because they trust in him. Psalm 37:39-40
- Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, Which comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any affliction by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the suferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation aboundeth through Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is wrought in the enduring of the same sufferings, which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope is steadfast concerning you, in as much as we know, that as e are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. 2 Corinthians 1:3–7
- For the Lamb, which is in the midst of the throne, shall govern them, and shall lead them into the lively fountains of waters, and God shall wipe away al teras from their eyes. Revelation 7:17
Look forward to meeting brother Charles Wesley in glory and walking and talking about what it was like in his day. I am inspired and looking forward with expectation in light of what Daniel the prophet recorded (Daniel 11:32), “And such as wickedly break the covenant, shall he cause to sin by flattery: but the people tht do know their God, shall prevail and prosper.” The KJV “…but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. The Concise Dictionary of Words in the Greek Testament and the Hebrew Bible states:
Strong’s Greek #5624
עֲלִלָה ʿălîlâh, al-ee-law´; from 5953 in the sense of effecting; an exploit (of God), or a performance (of man, often in a bad sense); by impl.
When confronted with the pervasive, preternatural evil the remnant of Christ will endure during the time of the anti-Christ those of us who are daily feasting on the meat of the word, who pray and seek the face of God (fasting is a great help, as we read our Master do regularly) we will be empowered with strength and Power much like today but amplified. I believe we will do as the apostles to the extent that God chooses to demonstrate to a lost world and how willing we are to step out. Remember we will be on the receiving end of an ancient hatred that will have permeated the unbelieving world as the hours of Satan’s time wind to a close. May we be equipped to be as the apostles, those beloved much of God and filling the pages of Foxes Book of Martyrs and our brethren being slaughtered as your eyes read these words in the middle east. Sola Deo Gloria!