Prays Together: Look to Jesus

A few days ago, I was looking at YouTube (I think it was to find something creative for my French classes) and saw these words, “O Soul are you weary and troubled?” My heart responded instantly, “Oh yes! So weary and so troubled.” I clicked on the link and listened to a short broadcast. Here are the words of the first two verses and the chorus to the hymn that was played: “O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s a light for a look at the Savior, and life more abundant, and free! Thru death into life everlasting He passed, and we follow Him there; Over us sin no more hath dominion- for more than conquerors we are!”

Turn your eyes upon Jesus / Look full in His wonderful face, / and the things of earth / will grow strangely dim / in the light of His glory and grace.

And the words to the third verse and chorus are: His Word shall not fail you—He promised; believe Him, and all will be well: Then go to a world that is dying, His perfect salvation to tell.

Keep your eyes upon Jesus, / Let nobody else take His place, / so that hour by hour, / you may know His power, / ’til at last you have run the great race.

There, let your heart rest a minute. Breathe, rest, look.

This is what my “go to” resource has to say about this hymn: “In our fast-paced daily life, how easy it is to get caught up in the ‘things of earth’ so that eternal values become blurred and almost forgotten. As we begin the journey through this New Year, we need today’s hymn to remind us that we must continue to make Christ the central core of our lives…”

“In 1918, Helen Lemmel, the author and composer of this hymn, was given a tract by a missionary friend. As she read it, Helen’s attention was focused on this line: “So then, turn your eyes upon Him, look full into His face, and you will find that the things of earth will acquire a strange new dimness.”

She related: “Suddenly, as if commanded to stop and listen, I stood still, and singing in my soul and spirit was the chorus of the hymn with not one conscious moment of putting word to word to make rhyme, or note to note to make melody. The verses were written the same week, after the usual manner of composition, but none the less dictated by the Holy Spirit.”

Since that day, Helen Lemmel’s hymn has been translated into many languages and used by God to challenge believers around the world with the necessity of living devoted lives for His glory.”

Hebrews 12:2 says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Stop. Look away from the news. Fix your eyes on Jesus.

Jean Newman is worship leader at the First Presbyterian Churches in Exeter and Lindsay. Prays Together is a rotating faith-based commentary and advice column between the pastors of the First Presbyterian Church of Exeter, Church of Christ of Exeter, Nazarene Church of Exeter, Church of God of Exeter, the New Life Assembly of God and Rocky Hill Community Church as well as the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church.

This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Sun-Gazette newspaper.

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