This hymn has become a great delight for me as I have meditated upon it. I count it among my favorites. Though you may know it well, I encourage you to read it again–only think this time. Concentrate on the rich text that urges you to gaze on Christ, to find delight in Him, to rest in Him, to be satisfied in Him alone. I publish it here (along with a few of my reflections) to point your thoughts Christ-ward.
Interestingly, this hymn recaptured my attention due to a new setting that is sung by the Pettit Evangelistic Team on this recording. You can hear a sample of it here. It’s become a favorite of mine among my recorded music. I prefer the older tune, especially for corporate worship (and we’ve been singing often lately), but the new one is beautiful as well and (more importantly) has caused me to reconsider a text which I had taken for granted. I’m grateful.
Here’s the text (along with a few of my reflections). I hope it will point your thoughts Christ-ward.
Jesus, I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power,
Thou hast made me whole.
O, how great Thy loving kindness,
Vaster, broader than the sea!
O, how marvelous Thy goodness,
Lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Beloved,
Know what wealth of grace is Thine,
Know Thy certainty of promise,
And have made it mine.
Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless,
Satisfies my heart;
Satisfies its deepest longings,
Meets, supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings:
Thine is love indeed!
Ever lift Thy face upon me
As I work and wait for Thee;
Resting ’neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus,
Earth’s dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father’s glory,
Sunshine of my Father’s face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting,
Fill me with Thy grace.
A few reflections:
- The first verse captures the heartbeat of II Corinthians 3:18 as well as any hymn I know: gazing on Christ brings transformation to His likeness, thus making us “whole”–essentially a reversal of the fall! What a beautiful, life-changing truth!
- The second rejoices in God’s vast, unsearchable perfections, especially those which are displayed in His kindness to undeserving sinners like us.
- The third is another gorgeous description of (a) gazing on Christ and (b) finding sweet satisfaction in Him alone. Beautiful. Would that the lost would comprehend–would that we would comprehend–the fact that Christ alone can “satisfy our deepest longings” and “supply our heart’s every need.” Again, this is life-changing truth. Think on it.
- The fourth verse magnifies Christ’s deity: He is the “brightness of my Father’s glory.” It concludes with a request that our enjoyment, dependence and satisfaction in God alone would yet increase.
I trust that my comments haven’t detracted from a hymn which really needs no explanation. However, it’s a joy to describe why it’s a blessing to me rather than just saying “it is.” I urge you to “think on these things,” friends, and have a wonderful time gazing on Christ with your local church tomorrow!