Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10).
Jesus, Lover of My Soul is among the most published, if not the most, published Christian hymns in the English language. This great hymn, written by Charles Wesley has been performed in every church where I have been a member. The hymn combines at least three of my favorite themes: God’s love, God’s protection from life’s storms and God’s mercy. I suppose all three of those are intertwined.
God surely loves me, and He loves you too! But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (Eph 2:4-5). And of course my father’s favorite verse: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). And once we accept God’s son, God makes us sons because of His love. Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God (1 John 3:1a). Oh what love!
Because God loves us He protects us from the storms of life. You can read my thoughts on that here. The Lord is our refuge. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Ps 46:1). But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble (Ps 59:16). For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy (Ps 61:3). Further, God have promised to be our eternal refuge in Hebrews 6:18-19: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.
My favorite line from the hymn is from the fifth verse: “Plenteous grace with Thee is found, grace to cover all my sin.” God’s love to us is beautifully demonstrated by His grace. Through his grace we can be redeemed. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Tit 3:4-7). You see in verse 4 that God’s grace is a direct result of His love.
Do you love God, your neighbor, those that spite you? 1 John 4:8 says He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
There are several legends about how Charles Wesley came to write Jesus, Lover of My Soul; you can read about some of them in the sources given at the end of this post. Historians have assumed the hymn was written in 1740. What remains as fact is that the timeless and simple message of Jesus, Lover of My Soul rings as a favorite hymn in Christian churches almost 300 years after being written. Five different tunes have been written for the lyrics. I like the tune used for the lyrics, Martyn, originally written by S. B. Marsh in 1834 for another hymn.
Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last.
Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed, all my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing.
Wilt Thou not regard my call? Wilt Thou not accept my prayer?
Lo! I sink, I faint, I fall—Lo! on Thee I cast my care;
Reach me out Thy gracious hand! While I of Thy strength receive,
Hoping against hope I stand, dying, and behold, I live.
Thou, O Christ, art all I want, more than all in Thee I find;
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is Thy Name, I am all unrighteousness;
False and full of sin I am; Thou art full of truth and grace.
Plenteous grace with Thee is found, grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art, freely let me take of Thee;
Spring Thou up within my heart; rise to all eternity.
Sources: http://www.suite101.com/content/jesus-lover-of-my-soul-a70344, http://cyberhymnal.org/htm/j/l/jlmysoul.htm, http://www.wholesomewords.org/biography/bwesley7.html, http://cyberhymnal.org/mid/m/a/r/martyn.mid, King James Version of the Holy Bible