The Hymn Be Still My Soul

Be Still My Soul

Be Still My Soul

This past Sunday during our morning worship, we sang the old hymn Be Still my Soul. It is such a moving and powerful song.

The first time I remember hearing this song was back in college. At college about once a month, the school would require the students to attend a religious service called, Vespers. These services normally consisted of music from one of the choral choirs and some thought provoking drama.

One of the vespers told the story of Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Peter Fleming, and Roger Youderian and the Auca Indians in Ecuador. The story centers around these bold men and their heart for sharing the Gospel to an unreached people group.

On January 8, 1956, this group of young missionaries were attacked and killed by the very group they were trying to reach. A few years later, Elizabeth Elliot (Jim’s wife) and the sister of one of the missionaries killed, went back and shared the Gospel with the Auca Indians. God used these deaths to reach people who had never heard the Gospel.

The night before the missionaries set out to share the gospel with the Auca’s they sang the song, We Rest on Thee. Which happens to be based on the same tune as, Be still my soul.

While at vespers I heard this song in the context of the story of Jim Elliot. As you can imagine this added a whole new depth to this song and moved me greatly.

The words to Be still my soul was written by Katharina von Schegel in 1752 in Germany. The hymn was translated into English by Jane Borthwick, in 1855, who was from Scotland. The tune was written by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius in 1899 and was called Finlandia.

The words to Be Still my Soul and We Rest On Thee are very powerful and I pray that you will enjoy reading them and also fall in love with the tune as well.

Be Still My Soul

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side;

Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.

Leave to your God to order and provide;

In every change He faithful will remain.

Be still, my soul: your best, your heavenly Friend

Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

 

Be still, my soul: your God will undertake

To guide the future as He has the past.

Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake;

All now mysterious shall be bright at last.

Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know

His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

 

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,

And all is darkened in the vale of tears,

Then shall you better know His love, His heart,

Who comes to soothe your sorrow and your fears.

Be still, my soul: your Jesus can repay

From His own fullness all He takes away.

 

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on

When we shall be forever with the Lord,

When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,

Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.

Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past,

All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Here are the words to We Rest In Thee by Edith G. Cherry. Remember this is the last song that the five missionaries sang.

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.

 

Yes, 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.

It was the second to last line that Elizabeth Elliot titled her story of Jim Elliot. Through Gates of Splendor.

She later wrote a book called, Be Still My Soul.

Now that you have read the words, I would love for you to hear the hymn for yourself.

Here is Kari Jobe singing, Be Still My Soul. I pray you will come to love this song as I do.

What does this song mean to you? I would love to hear your story?

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