Recent Posts
Last week we saw that since all who are in Christ are priests who are [more]
If "Christian imagination" is really another way of saying Christian knowing, or Christian knowledge, why [more]
Kevin T. Bauder This weekend I am traveling to Lake Benton, Minnesota, to address the [more]
In the year 365 a council of church leadership met in the city of Laodicea [more]
Should Christians persist in referring to "Christian Imagination"? Since we are concerned with truth, should [more]

We Rest on Thee

British poet Edith G. Cherry (1872-1897) contracted polio at a young age and dealt with severe health struggles all through her short life. Yet after her death, she left behind enough poems to fill two books, with many of the poems written before she was 15 years old.

Her best-known hymn, “We Rest on Thee,” takes its inspiration from an incident in the life of godly king Asa of Judah. When a huge army from Ethiopia came out against the vastly outnumbered army of Judah, “Asa cried unto the Lord his God, and said… ‘Help us, O Lord our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude…” (2 Chron 14:11, KJV).

Nearly sixty years after Edith’s death, five young missionary families plotted their attempt to reach the warlike Waorani tribe living along the Río Curaray in the jungles of Ecuador. On January 3, 1956, the men met for prayer. “At the close of their prayers the five men sang one of their favorite hymns, ‘We Rest on Thee,’ to the stirring tune of ‘Finlandia.’ Jim and Ed had sung this hymn since college days and knew the verses by heart. On the last verse their voices rang out with deep conviction. ‘We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender, Thine is the battle, Thine shall be the praise….” (Elisabeth Elliot, Through Gates of Splendor, 179). Five days later Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming, and Jim Elliot became the most famous missionary martyrs of the twentieth century.

So whether an ancient Jewish king, a sickly 19th-century British poet, courageous 20th-century American missionaries, or 21st-century believers facing a world of severe uncertainty, all can find rest in the sovereign God of heaven and earth.

We rest on Thee, our shield and our defender!
We go not forth alone against the foe;
Strong in Thy strength, safe in Thy keeping tender,
We rest on Thee, and in Thy name we go.
Strong in Thy strength, safe in Thy keeping tender,
We rest on Thee, and in Thy name we go.

Yea, in Thy name, O Captain of salvation!
In Thy dear name, all other names above;
Jesus our righteousness, our sure foundation,
Our prince of glory and our king of love.
Jesus our righteousness, our sure foundation,
Our prince of glory and our king of love.

We go in faith, our own great weakness feeling,
And needing more each day Thy grace to know:
Yet from our hearts a song of triumph pealing,
We rest on Thee, and in Thy name we go.
Yet from our hearts a song of triumph pealing,
We rest on Thee, and in Thy name we go.

We rest on Thee, our shield and our defender!
Thine is the battle, Thine shall be the praise;
When passing through the gates of pearly splendor,
Victors, we rest with Thee, through endless days.
When passing through the gates of pearly splendor,
Victors, we rest with Thee, through endless days.

—Edith G. Cherry, 1895

Avatar

About Guest Author

This guest article has been published because an editor has determined its contents to be supportive of the values of Religious Affections Ministries. Its publication does not imply full agreement between its author and RAM on other matters.

Leave a reply