Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

June 7, 2021 Speaker: Ted Detiveaux Series: Hymns of Summer

Topic: Spiritual Focus Scripture: Psalm 6:6–:9

Sermon Series: Hymns of Summer

Hillsongs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czxd5oa-gi0

 

Shane & Shane

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1qgyLTH6Xg

 

Title: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (originally named The Heavenly Vision)

 

Author: Helen Howarth Lemmel - was a gifted singer who had a successful career in the Midwest.  She was the vocal musicteacher for a number of years at the Moody Bible Institute. During the course of her life she wrote more than 500 hymns and poems, of which "Turn your Eyes Upon Jesus" is best known. Lemmel lived to a ripe old age of 97 years.

 

The song was inspired from a tract that was given to Helen by a missionary.

 

"So then, turn your eyes upon Him, look full into His face and you will find that the things of earth will acquire a strange new dimness."

 

Lemmel first published the hymn in England as a pamphlet in 1918.  This was a very trying time in England as there were several things going on during that year. 

 

  • World War 1 was still going on and would not conclude until the end of that year. Consequently, London had experienced heavy bombing, and loss of lives throughout the year as the result of war.
  • Women were fighting for their right to vote,
  • 20,000 police officers went on strike
  • Spanish Flu which infected 500 million people but killed somewhere between 20-50 It was the deadliest pandemic in human history. London alone had 2200 deaths.  To put things in perspective, there have been 3.7 million deaths worldwide from covid.

 

It was during a pandemic that this song is first published.  How suiting is it for the author to remind her audience to turn their eyes upon Jesus when all hope seems to be gone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O soul are you weary and troubled
No light in the darkness you see
There's light for a look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free

 

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there
Over us sin no more hath dominion
For more than conquerors we are

 

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

 

His word shall not fail you, He promised
Believe Him and all will be well
Then go to a world that is dying
His perfect salvation to tell

 

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

 

Looking back at the first verse

 

O soul are you weary and troubled
No light in the darkness you see

 

  • Do you know what it is like to have a weary and troubled soul?

As we mentioned before we are made up three parts Body, Soul, and Spirit.  It is from your soul that your personalitycomes, your emotions, reason, logic, answers to life’s difficult problems. 

 

When your soul is weary then your spirit and body will also be affected.  You won’t see things as clearly as you should.  You won’t put forth the necessary effort. 

 

David the Psalmist knew what it was to have a weary soul. 

 

                  Psalms 6:6-7

6 I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.
7 My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my foes.

                 

This shows that it is normal for the godly to be afflicted with troubles in this life.  Weariness can happen to even the best of us.  A lost loved one, a job lost, the grind of life, lack of results, rebellious children, dealing with difficult people, etc.   These can be vexing to one’s soul to the point where it would seem as though there is “No light in the darkness you see”

 

But in every Bible story that begins with weariness, our attention is then turned to our God who can strengthen us. 

 

David continues in the very next verse:

8 Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping. 

9 The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer.

 

Yes, his soul was weary, yes, he did not feel like pressing through, but his hope was in the fact that the Lord was on his side and that He hears the prayers of the righteous.  He took comfort in the fact that the Lord heard his prayers. 

 

The hymn also points us to the hope that we have in our savior. It continues:

 

There's light for a look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free

 

There is hope when we turn to our Savior in times of weariness.  There is abundant life and freedom that can only be found in Him. Many will try all sorts of things to be free from their current distress or to experience life to the fullness, but Jesus alone is the answer.  Through Him you will experience the most satisfying and abundant life there is.

 

The Hymn explains how this is possible:

 

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there

It is possible for us to have an abundant life and a life of freedom because of what Jesus did for us.  He was crucifiedand He died, but then He rose again into life everlasting.  He passed through death and into life. 

 

                  Revelation 1:17-18

17 “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. 

                 

Death could not keep Him in the grave, furthermore He has the keys meaning that Jesus is in full control of Death.  Because He lives, we who believe in Him will also live. 

 

John 11:25-26

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 

 

Therefore, we can sing the next part of this hymn

 

Over us sin no more hath dominion
For more than conquerors we are

 

We are no longer slaves of sin, it has no more dominion over us, we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus our Lord.  The victory is already ours, He has defeated death, hell and the grave.

 

Let’s go to the second verse of the hymn before we conclude with the chorus.

 

His word shall not fail you, He promised
Believe Him and all will be well

We are reminded to believe and to trust in His promises.  Because He is God who keeps His word, we can trust in Himwhen we cannot trust in anything else.  He is faithful and True.  He is God and cannot lie. His words are eternal.  

 

When we put our hope and our faith in the promises of God “all will be well” with us

 

The hymn switches gears and points towards our personal responsibility.  We are instructed to go to the world who is void of the hope that we have and declare to them the salvation of our God.

 

Then go to a world that is dying
His perfect salvation to tell

 

Which perfectly aligns with the great commission

 

Matthew 28:18-20

 

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

 

The goal is to bring this same hope which we have obtained through Christ Jesus our Lord, to those who are troubled and weary, to those who are living in darkness.

 

Finally, we come to the most powerful part of the hymn; the chorus:

                 

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

 

There is an unmatched peace which is found when we focus on Jesus.  He is the good shepherd, and we are like sheep; We need a good shepherd because we are easily troubled as sheep are.

 

John 10:11, 27-28

11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 

 

When the sheep hear the voice of their shepherd they are comforted, and they will not go with another.  When we turn our eyes toward Jesus, we realize that there is nothing in this world that can overcome us because He has already overcome the world.

 

John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

 

As we look fully at His wonderful face or to put it another way as we trust fully in His divinity that He is fully God, or that we surrender fully to His Sovereign plan for our lives. Only then will the things of earth will grow dim in comparison to His Glory and His Grace.  Meaning those things which consume our thoughts here on earth are surpassed by how great He is.

 

In Conclusion,

 

We have this amazing contrast between light and darkness illustrated wonderfully in this hymn.  At the beginning of this Hymn weariness and troubles seem to be the darkness that keeps us from seeing the light.  By the end of the Hymn, we are in the presence of God seeing His Face and His light illuminates our lives to the point where the things of this world have grown dim. 

 

In which one day we will literally see Him face to face. 

 

Revelation 22:3-5

 

3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

 

But for now, we must turn our eyes, our focus, on Jesus as the hymn implies,

 

We can determine what we are focusing on by evaluating what is bigger in your life.  If weariness and troubles are bigger, then you are focusing on the wrong thing.  If God is bigger, then your focus is clear.

 

Look full at His wonderful face, trust fully in the fact that He is a good shepherd, that His word is true, His promises are yes and amen.  As we do, those things which overwhelm us will fade away “and all will be well.”

 

                  What a Hymn!  But how great is the God to whom the hymn is ascribed. 

 

 

 

More in Hymns of Summer

July 18, 2021

What a friend we have in Jesus

July 11, 2021

It is Well

June 20, 2021

Jesus Paid It All