In Heavenly Love Abiding
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! Psalm 95:1-2
God inhabitants the praises of His people. Throughout Scripture we see God’s children praising and worshiping Him, both in great moments of victory and in jail cells. We always have reasons to praise, because we have an unchanging God. His promises are always true and His presence is always near.
Today, we have tons of artists to listen to. God has given us an abundance of songs, radio stations, and videos dedicated to praising Him. I love the acoustic slow worship style, as well as praise songs. Though those are great, a lot of us have forgotten hymns that were written years ago. They are so rich in the Gospel and Christ-exalting.
There is one hymn that the Lord has placed on my heart for almost a whole year. It just pops into my mind daily or at least weekly. I was suddenly hit with an illness over a year ago. After about 5 months, I realized the process back to health was going to take even more months. That was discouraging, but God continued to use this hymn for my comfort. I am not sure if many people will know it. The wording is older in style, but I would like to share this beautiful hymn from a lady named Anna Laetitia Waring. She lived 1823-1910. It is called 'In Heavenly Love Abiding.'
In heavenly love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear;
And safe is such confiding,
For nothing changes here:
The storm may roar without me,
My heart may low be laid,
But God is round about me,
And can I be dismayed?
Now, I hope I haven’t lost you yet!
In this hymn, the singer is preaching to herself. We can learn from her. Our hearts should not abide in present circumstances or in hopeful futures but in God’s love, which is secure. When your heart is secure in God’s love, you will not fear in any season. You must remember that confiding in God is safe. Why? Because nothing changes with Him. This is only true with Him. Everything else in life can change in a second. When the storms of life roar around you, and when your heart is heavy and weighed down, still God is with you within the storm! We have to remind our own souls how safe God is even in the midst of life’s strongest winds and hardest storms.
Wherever He may guide me,
No want shall turn me back;
My Shepherd is beside me,
And nothing can I lack:
His wisdom ever waketh,
His sight is never dim;
He knows the way He taketh,
And I will walk with Him
I love this second verse. This is the one God brought to my memory the most during those hard days. She says that it doesn't matter where God might guide her. She would not let any desires turn her away from His leading. This reminds me of Lot’s wife (read Genesis 19:26 ). His wife let the wants of what she was leaving behind cause her to turn, and it killed her. Is God calling you to follow Him in the opposite direction of your past? Follow Him and don't look back.
We should repeat the words of this hymn in calling God our Shepherd. He is not far off but a Shepherd that is beside us. Think about that now. If you are God’s Child, Your Shepherd is beside you even now! Isn’t that comforting? It is for me! Because your Shepherd is beside you, lack is impossible. His wisdom is always sharp and ‘awake,’ and His sight is never dim. The darkness is the same as light to Him (Psalm 139:12). Even if you can only see darkness right now, Your Shepherd sees clearly. You may not know where you are going, but God knows. This should bring a desire to walk with Him in faith.
Green pastures are before me,
Which yet I have not seen;
Bright skies will soon be o’er me,
Where the dark clouds have been:
My hope I cannot measure,
My path in life is free;
My Savior has my treasure,
And He will walk with me.
Recognize the reality of the great things that are before you. There are green pastures you can’t see yet. Soon, the storms will pass and the skies will shine brightly over you. It will replace the dark clouds that are above you now. Your hope is immeasurable and your life before you is wide open. In the end, your Savior has your treasure and He walks with you. You only have to trust and follow.
If you don’t think that this hymn is encouraging, it is probably my fought! I must not have commented well. It has been so encouraging to me, during times when storms and dark clouds seem to engulf me. It has been a help when I have felt lost and confused. Know that it is okay to feel that way, but you are still safe because of Who stands beside you. Wherever He leads, He will provide and will never leave your side. I hope you can find some comfort in this. And, maybe some of these words will continue to play in your mind as they have mine.
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