‘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.”
(“Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus” by Louisa M. R. Stead)
He explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” (John 11:7–10 NLT)
When Louisa Stead was a teenager, she felt called to be a missionary. Into her early twenties, her desire to pursue being a missionary only strengthened, though her frail health initially prevented her from traveling. Instead, she got married and had a daughter, Lily. While Lily was still a young girl, all three were eating a picnic lunch on a beach at Long Island Sound, New York, when they spotted a boy who was drowning. Louisa’s husband swam out to help him, but the struggling boy only managed to pull him under, drowning both of them as Louisa and Lily looked on, helpless. It was out of this painful tragedy that Louisa wrote “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.”
It is sometimes said that it’s easy to trust in Jesus during the times of blessing and it is during the times of hardship that we show how truly trusting of God we are. The truth is probably the inverse of that. It is often when everything seems to be going well that historically we lose track of the importance and sweetness of trusting in God in all things. Throughout church history, we see Christ followers displaying deep trust in their savior in the most difficult times. One example of this is Rev. Godwill Ncham, the executive president of the Cameroon Baptist Convention. During the most recent gathering of Blue Ocean in Auburn, California, he could be found sitting in the front row singing of his trust in Jesus even as his country is undergoing one of the most trying periods in its history. Louisa Stead also continued to place this level of trust in her Lord, which allowed Him to use her to great effect in the later years of her life. After the death of her husband, she went on to serve as a missionary in South Africa for fifteen years, marry a native South African minister, and serve an additional eleven years as a missionary in what is now known as Zimbabwe. Lily also became a dedicated missionary in her own right.
How well and how deeply do you trust God? Do you relish His sweet provision in the lean times and in the times of plenty? What do you need to change in your outlook to sing this hymn in every type of circumstance?