1. My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
Chorus. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
2. When darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest upon unchanging grace;
In ev’ry rough and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
3. His oath, his covenant, his blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
4. When he shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then be found in him;
Dressed in his righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
Have you ever thought that you had endured enough misery that you deserve something good? Have you ever thought that way about Jesus? Do you really, truly, wholly lean on Jesus’ name?
Fifty miles out to sea in the middle of the night with the wind roaring and waves throwing themselves at the boat, it is tempting to cry out, “I want off!” Life feels that way sometimes. How do you keep going when you don’t feel like going on?
When did you feel that everything around you had given way? Do you feel that way now? When the foundations you built your life on disintegrate under you (for example, house, job, family, health), where do you find support? Where does this hymnwriter find support?
Sometimes it feels as if there is no future. Sometimes you feel as if you don’t want the future you see. How does faith in Christ’s ultimate victory in eternity shape your experience of events in your present time-bounded life?
The psalmist once asked (see Psalm 15:1) who could approach God? What does this hymnwriter think about this question?
Some people think that the need to keep God’s rules and laws is a great burden. Moses thought God’s laws were so good and just that other nations would envy Israel because of them. (see Deuteronomy 4:6-8) What does the hymnwriter think? What do you think?
Why does this hymnwriter think there is hope that God will come to bring him back if he wanders away in disobedience? (see Luke 15:1-7)
Try praying the words of this hymn. Speak them slowly. Try putting your own name into the words. Think about our call to be Christlike in our lives. What issues in your life come to mind as you pray this hymn?
O bread of life from heaven O food to pilgrims given, O manna from above; Feed with the blessed sweetness Of your divine completeness The souls that want and need your love.
We love you, Jesus, tender, In all your hidden splendor Within these means of grace. Oh, let the veil be riven, And our clear eye in heaven Behold your glory face to face. Latin hymn translated by Hugh T. Henry
·What is the bread of life from heaven? ·What did Jesus say after the feeding of the five thousand that explains the phrase “feed with the blessed sweetness?”(see John6:35) ·Why does the hymnwriter describe Jesus’ splendor as “hidden?” What does he mean by “let the veil be riven?” (Matthew 27:50-52) ·Where in the Bible is there a description of the way Jesus will appear in heaven? How does that image help you in difficult experiences?
Come, thou Fount of ev’ry blessing,
Tune my heart to sing thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of God’s unchanging love.
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by thy help I’m come.
And I hope, by thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wand’ring from the fold of God.
He, to rescue me from danger, Interposed his precious blood.
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be.
Let that grace now, like a fetter,
Bind my wand’ring heart to thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for thy courts above. John Wyeth
To whom does the hymnwriter direct this song?
When we talk about prayer, we often talk about asking for things. We think the efficacy of prayer is demonstrated by receiving what we ask for. This hymn is a prayer, but it doesn’t ask for anything. What sort of prayer is it? Do you pray like this writer does?
What does he mean by “streams of mercy?”
Do you know what Ebenezer means? Do you have a commentary or Bible dictionary where you can research this term?If you are not familiar with this term go to a Bible Dictionary and look it up. On the Studylight site, you can look in other dictionaries for more information. Read 1 Samuel 7:7-14. Why did Samuel raise up Ebenezer?
The hymnwriter says, “Hither by thy help I’m come.” What does he mean? Have you ever felt this way? Why?
What parable is the hymnwriter talking about when he says, “Jesus sought me when a stranger, wand’ring from the throne of God?” What is the hymnwriter saying about himself when he writes these words? Do you have a personal experience like this?
What does the hymnwriter offer to God at the end of his prayer? Why?
My life flows on in endless song.
Above earth’s lamentation I catch the sweet, though far-off hymn that hails a new creation.
Refrain: No storm can shake my inmost calm
while to that Rock I’m clinging.
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,
how can I keep from singing?
Through all the tumult and the strife,
I hear that music ringing.
It finds an echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,
a fountain ever springing!
All things are mine since I am his!
How can I keep from singing?
Questions for thought and prayer:
My grandmother always sang through her days, even though she was poor and had to work very hard. What does this hymnwriter think inspires singing through hard times?
The daily news is full of “tumult and strife.” Do you hear a musical echo in your soul through the noise of political rhetoric and economic collapse? If yes, where does it come from? If no, do you know where to fine one?
How do you think the writer of this hymn would respond to an invitation to camp out with the “Occupy” movement on the Capital Mall?
What is the “new creation” the hymnwriter believes is the inspiration for the song in his heart? Why exactly can he not stop singing?