Jesus, Lover of my Soul…. oh, I’ve sung this song for years. It was a favourite in the church that I grew up in. A song written by Charles Wesley who wanted others to know of this God who is our source of refuge.
Lyrics to Jesus Lover of My Soul
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.
Author and History
So imagine this. You’ve preached a sermon, and people hate you for it. They want you dead. A kind person hides you. As you are waiting for your pursuers to get tired of the hunt, the words to a song come you.
This is how Jesus, Lover of my Soul came to Charles Wesley. During a time of stress and persecution. His life on the line, and what does he do? Write a hymn not only recognizing who Jesus is but calling upon him for aid.
Charles Wesley travelled around England’s countryside with his brother John preaching. He did so at a time when holding to different doctrinal standards could result in mobs of angry people. YET, he did so irregardless of the cost. Known as the “Bard of Methodism”, he wrote some 6500 hymns. Hymns flowed out of him, whether doctrinally or experientially based.
This verse is part of the original song, but none of the hymnbooks I own contain it.
Wilt Thou not regard my call? Wilt Thou not accept my prayer?
Lo! I sink, I faint, I fall—Lo! on Thee I cast my care;
Reach me out Thy gracious hand! While I of Thy strength receive,
Hoping against hope I stand, dying, and behold, I live.
Other hymns by Charles Wesley
- Come, thou long-expected Jesus.
- Christ the Lord is Risen Today.
- Ye Servants of God, your master proclaim.
- Rejoice the Lord is King.
- Christ whose glory fills the skies.
- Love Divine all loves excelling.
Doesn’t this verse speak well to the depth found within this song?
“3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3,4 (ESV)
This truth is what Wesley relied upon. God was his source of strength. When I read of how hymnists use their life experiences to call people to God, it’s an inspiration to me. It helps me realize that all the ways that God has helped me, are something that I, hopefully, can use to remind others of God’s goodness.
It makes me ask this…. what inspires you?