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Uplifting Hymns With Tales To Tell
We've a story to tell to the nations,
That shall turn their hearts to the right,
A story of truth and mercy,
A story of peace and light,
A story of peace and light.
Every hymn that I have ever come across has a story to tell. It may be a story about the author, it may have to do with a believer but each story is just as uplifting as the hymn behind it. One may sing a hymn without truly listening to the words. One may utter the words without really understanding the story behind it but when one absorbs the words of certain hymns, they cannot be sung without a reverent feeling.
Written by Fanny Crosby the words to this timeless hymn came about quite suddenly. Fanny was visiting a friend who played for her a melody and asked her just what she thought it sounded like. Fanny responded by saying it sounded like blessed assurance and from there the entire hymn spilled out. She was a prolific writer indeed, having authored eight thousand hymns in her lifetime. What is more amazing is that she had been blind since childhood. Even though she could not see she knew the Bible by heart and could recall any Scripture she wished at will.
O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go
Written by George Matheson at a time when his soul felt weary, this hymn still uplifts all those who turn to it for comfort. One cannot help but hear the beauty of the words. Again these were words written by the blind and yet though blind, he could truly see. Years before his eyesight had forsaken him. His fiancé had left as a result and a few of his dreams were shattered. Cared for by a dear sister he was dismayed, and fearful of what would become of him as she prepared to marry and leave. In his troubled time he wrote these words and like Crosby's Blessed Assurance, they too came in a matter of minutes.
This encouraging hymn was written by Joseph Scriven when the day before his wedding, the woman he was to marry, drowned. She had been not only his love but his best friend. He turned to Jesus Christ for comfort and these words were the result. He resolved to serve others for the rest of his life and only worked for those who could not pay him.
Deeper Than The Stain Has Gone
Raymond Browning had heard a man by the name of John Lakin Brasher preach on the crucifixion of Christ. Stunned by his explanation and description on the blood of Christ, one phrase remained with him,the fact that he had said that the blood of Jesus reached deeper than the stain of sin had gone. He took those words and wrote the hymn.
Jesus I am Resting, Resting
This hymn written by Jean Pigott, was Hudson Taylor's favorite. A missionary to China, he faced many trails and sorrows, yet through it all he would rest in the Lord and would often be heard whistling this hymn even in the most perilous times.
The Ninety And Nine
This hymn written by Elizabeth C. Celphane has a most astounding story. It was first sung by none other than Ira Sankey when he was in Scotland with D.L. Moody. Mr. Sankey was famous for his marvelous gift of singing the gospel yet, he pondered what he could sing to move the Scottish people. He came across the words to a poem in the newspaper while on the train to Scotland itself. He thought to himself that it would make a marvelous hymn if only it had music, and wouldn't you know that the music came to him and he sang it in front of the Scottish people and it was extremely moving? So much so that this hymn became Sankey's favorite of all. The strange thing is that when he left Scotland, Sankey got a letter from a lady who had been in attendance at the meeting. It was her sister who had passed away who had written that poem which Sankey had put music to! What were the chances that she would go to a meeting and hear the words her sister wrote sung in front of so many people?
This hymn has many different testimonies about it. Sankey when singing it again was heard a far off by a man who had refused to go to the meeting. He heard and was troubled and had to go and inquire about it. That led to his salvation but it gets even better. Years after, when he lay dying the song was sang again in the distance by Mr. Sankey and he was able to hear it as the last thing he heard before he died. Perhaps it is the words which are so meaningful, yet Mr. Moody himself did not listen to them until Mr. Sankey put the melody along with it.
All Hail The Power Of Jesus' Name
An interesting tale goes along with this hymn of a man dying in much pain and was heard to utter, "Bring." Those around him tried vainly to find out what it was that he was requesting, bringing him all manner of things such as his Bible, and asking if he requested a certain person in attendance. Finally with his last breath he was able to utter, "Bring forth the royal diadem and crown Him Lord of all!"
My Jesus I Love Thee
The story behind this hymn goes like this. A young girl who was an actress and who loved what she did, was on her way through a certain city when , in passing, she saw a girl, obviously ill, lying on a couch from the view of the street. She decided to go into the girl to cheer her up but it was she who was cheered up for the young girl, though sick was filled with the love of Christ and she related to this actress just how deep her faith went. When the young actress went away, she went with much to think of. She decided that this girl's Christ was the one for her and became a Christian. She also decided that she would give up acting.
Her father, who was an actor as well, discouraged her from doing so as she was quite talented. For a while he thought he succeeded but when the curtain rose, she proclaimed her decision to all with these words:"My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;For Thee all the follies of sin I resign; My gracious Redeemer, my Saviour art Thou; If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now." She left the stage never to return.
There are many more tales of hymns which turned the hearts of people to Jesus like the one which was sung and caused a young girl to remember her mother's teaching or the one that was written as a celebration song for Whit Monday which children sang while waving their banners, which would become the theme for The Salvation Army. Wherever hymns are sung, they inevitably creep into the heart of someone, unsuspecting or not and when it does hold you it does not let you go.
The Ninety And Nine:
There were ninety and nine that safely lay
In the shelter of the fold.
But one was out on the hills away,
Far off from the gates of gold.
Away on the mountains wild and bare.
Away from the tender Shepherd's care.
Away from the tender Shepherd's care.
"Lord, Thou hast here Thy ninety and nine;
Are they not enough for Thee?"
But the Shepherd made answer: "This of Mine
Has wandered away from Me;
And although the road be rough and steep,
I go to the desert to find My sheep,
I go to the desert to find My sheep."
But none of the ransomed ever knew
How deep were the waters crossed;
Nor how dark was the night the Lord passed through
Ere He found His sheep that was lost.
Out in the desert He heard its cry,
Sick and helpless and ready to die;
Sick and helpless and ready to die.
"Lord, whence are those blood drops all the way
That mark out the mountain's track?"
"They were shed for one who had gone astray
Ere the Shepherd could bring him back."
"Lord, whence are Thy hands so rent and torn?"
"They are pierced tonight by many a thorn;
They are pierced tonight by many a thorn."
And all through the mountains, thunder riven
And up from the rocky steep,
There arose a glad cry to the gate of Heaven,
"Rejoice! I have found My sheep!"
And the angels echoed around the throne,
"Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!
Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!
- It is Well With My Soul- The truth behind the Hymn
Many of us have grown up with hymn which we have sung. Some stay with us more than others. We sing the words and they inspire us but how many of us stop to think....I wonder how the writer came up with the...