Story Behind The Song – ‘Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus

Trust. It’s tough, isn’t it?  Children trust so easily.  My granddaughter Adelaide will come running at me full bore and she just trusts that I’m going to catch her and pick her up and keep her safe.  She doesn’t even think twice about it.  But the journey of growing into adulthood and beyond is filled with hard-learned lessons that not every person can be trusted.

Jesus is a different story though.  Every day, every situation, every problem – you can trust Him with it.  He’s not like that friend who pulls the chair out from under you when you go to sit down and then laughs because you look like an idiot lying on the floor.  (I had that happen to me in the high school cafeteria — I never trusted that guy again!) The Bible says in Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Psalm 56:3-4 says “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?”

The song ’Tis So Sweet To Trust in Jesus was written sometime between 1880-1882 by Louisa M. R. Stead.  Louisa was born in 1850 in Dover, England.  She came to live in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1871.  She attended a camp meeting in Urbana, Ohio, and there she committed her life to serving as a missionary.  Louisa married in 1875, and she and her husband had a little girl, Lily.  When Lily was just 4 years old, her parents took her for a beach picnic at Long Island Sound in New York.  While they were eating, a drowning boy cried for help.  Mr. Stead ran into the water to save him, but as so often happens, the struggling boy pulled Mr. Stead under water with him.  They both drowned, as Louisa and Lily watched.  In the days that ensued, and from her grief and “why?” struggle with God, Louisa wrote these words:

’TIS SO SWEET TO TRUST IN JESUS

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

(Chorus)
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Soon after Mr. Stead’s passing, Louisa and Lily left for missionary work.  Louisa served in South Africa from 1880 – 1895, and in Zimbabwe from 1900 – 1911, when she retired due to ill health.  She passed from this life in 1917.  Her fellow missionaries loved this song, and it is recorded that Christians in Zimbabwe continue to sing her hymn in their local language.

Through tragedy early in her life, Louisa learned to simply trust in Jesus.  It is my prayer for you today that you can do the same.  Whatever the problem, whatever the burden, run as fast as you can to Jesus with it.  His arms are open and He’s ready to catch you and keep you safe. Just trust Him.


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