Thursday, January 5, 2012

How Sweet The Name Of Jesus Sounds

He's the Lily of the Valley

What was the substance and strength that made up the pioneer missionaries of the late 1800s and early 1900s?? Of course, you would say the Lord as would many people say the same thing today. But there was a deep commitment and an element of character that is missing in many of us these days. Reading books from the missionaries of the past can draw you and I into a deeper walk with Jesus. 

In reading Rosalind Goforth's book, Climbing, there are so many things that I would love to share with you. Gather up a warm wrap with a mug of your favorite coffee (you don't know what it takes for me to say that) or tea and snuggle in a comfy chair while I get my hot chocolate. Here is a quote from Rosalind's book and the song she mentioned. I am only slightly familiar with this hymn but I have made it my hymn for 2012. 

"Early in February I was taken ill with inflammatory rheumatism. This was the third serious attack. For days my life hung in the balance. I was only half conscious and unable to move or be moved. Every joint in my body seemed on fire. Some weeks before, I had memorized the hymn, the first verse of which is: "How sweet the name of Jesus sounds, In a believer's ear; It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds, And drives away his fear."

Words fail me to describe what that hymn meant to me through those days of agony. The words, fresh in mind, came without effort. While at times the whole six verses would come as soothing balm, it was the message of the first two lines of the last verse that brought to me the irresistible call to service. The words, "I would Thy boundless love proclaim, With every fleeting breath," seemed burned into my soul. I came out of that valley of suffering determined to pray myself loose from the things that were forcing me to follow other ways than the path of Christian service.

It was then I began to pray that one wholly yielded up to the Lord and His service might be led to me." ~Rosalind Goforth~

Doesn't what Rosalind share just come down through the years as if she were sitting right in your room talking with you, telling you this story?? She has become so real to me even though she passed on into God's presence many, many years ago. How challenging her words are to me to reach my small community for Christ. 

We have always had quite a number of old missionary biographies available in our home to read. Our children have grown up with them and I am sure that it has given them the opportunity to form their thinking.

Here is the hymn in its entirety. Don't you hate how most hymn books leave out half the verses?! The last verse, which Rosalind mentions, is not even in the hymn book we own. The hymn is there, but it only has verse one, two, three, and five. Just an interesting point. Enjoy this song!!

(John Newton/Alexander R.Reinagle)

How sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds
In a believer's ear!
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fears.

It makes the wounded Spirit whole,
And calms the troubled breast;
'Tis manna to the hungry soul,
And to the weary, rest.

Dear Name, the Rock on which I build,
My Shield and Hiding Place,
My never failing treasury, filled
With boundless stores of grace!

By Thee my prayers acceptance gain,
Although with sin defiled;
Satan accuses me in vain,
And I am owned a child.

Jesus! my Shepherd, Husband, Friend,
O Prophet, Priest, and King,
My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End,
Accept the praise I bring.

Weak is the effort of my heart,
And cold my warmest thought;
But when I see Thee as Thou art,
I'll praise Thee as I ought.

Till then I would Thy love proclaim,
With every fleeting breath,
And may the music of Thy Name,
Refresh my soul in death! 


Hearts For Home Thursdays


  1. Wow, that was a blessing! Yes, missionary books are so precious! We have an article on that subject on our site. Thanks for sharing that entire song.

    Love, Debbie

  2. We have a dear friend who collects hymns and hymn books. We always joke because when you ask him to see a hymn, he knows at LEAST ten more verses than the rest of us.

    I loved reading these thoughts. In the midst of suffering it is hard to grasp it is in the Lord's plan and control. To see other saints surrender to what the Lord allows gives me fresh courage.

  3. Debbie, I read that article and YOU are the one who nudged me to unearth those books by Rosalind Goforth. I had wanted to read Goforth to China for years and am finally finding the time. Could it be that the house is slightly quieter?! Just slightly!! I should have read it when I was growing up...but...didn't!!

    Thanks for both of your comments.


If you have gone a little way ahead, O friend, call back --
Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track.


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