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7 Hymns for Long Nights

Admittedly, old hymns are comfort food for my soul.

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My husband believes he can gauge the type of day I’m having strictly based on the number of old hymns I listen to in a sitting. (Now I must fight the urge to set Pandora to “old hymns” just to mess with him.)

Over the past year, Charles Wesley and Isaac Watts have been our frequent and welcome house guests. I believe there is something to be said about the unique (Psalms-like) balance between lament and celebration represented by the rich voices of old hymn writers.

For instance, here are 7 hymns to consider on your next difficult day–

1. All the Way My Savior Leads Me (Frances J. Crosby)

Listen to the traditional version here.

Consider the second verse:

All the way my Savior leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread,
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living Bread.
Though my weary steps may falter
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see;
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see.

2. Be Still My Soul (Catharina von Schlegel)

Listen to the traditional version here.

Consider the third verse:

Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.

3. Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul (Anne Steele)

Listen to the words set to music in 2014 by Matthew Merker here.

Consider the second verse:

But oh! When gloomy doubts prevail, I fear to call Thee mine;
The springs of comfort seem to fail, and all my hopes decline.
Yet gracious God, where shall I flee? Thou art my only trust;
And still my soul would cleave to Thee, though prostrate in the dust.

4. He Will Hold Me Fast (Ada Habershon/Matthew Merker)

Listen to the words set to music in 2013 by Matthew Merker here.

Consider the opening lines:

When I fear my faith will fail, Christ will hold me fast;
When the tempter would prevail, He will hold me fast.
I could never keep my hold through life’s fearful path;
For my love is often cold; He must hold me fast.

5. Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken (Henry Lyte)

Listen to a 2001 arrangement here.

Consider the 4th verse:

Go, then, earthly fame and treasure,
Come disaster, scorn and pain
In Thy service, pain is pleasure,
With Thy favor, loss is gain
I have called Thee Abba Father,
I have stayed my heart on Thee
Storms may howl, and clouds may gather; 
All must work for good to me.

6. More Love to Thee (Elizabeth Prentiss)

Listen to the traditional version here.

Consider the 2nd verse:

Once earthly joy I craved,
Sought peace and rest;
Now Thee alone I seek, 
Give what is best;
This all my prayer shall be:
More love, O Christ, to Thee,. A
More love to Thee,
More love to Thee!

7. O Love That Will Not Let Me Go (George Matheson)

Listen to the traditional version here.

Consider the 3rd verse:

O Joy, that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain
That morn shall tearless be.

What hymn(s) was I crazy for leaving off the list? Leave me a note in the comments.

I’ll be back on Wednesday to talk about why forgiveness is not an option.

In pursuit of joy–

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