James Montgomery, 1771-1854

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
I Corinthians 10:13

Crisis situations are often the important pivotal points in our lives. Our response to these traumatic times--the loss of a loved one, a change in employment, a mistreatment by a trusted friend--will be the foundation stones upon which our lives are built. Maintaining the glow of our first love for God despite all the stresses of life is a major concern. The third stanza of this hymn teaches so well what our attitude should be when difficulties come our way: A desire to know what God is saying through the experience and a willingness to cast our cares on Him.

This beloved hymn was written by one of England's foremost hymn writers, James Montgomery. It was first published in 1853 with the title "Prayers on a Pilgrimage". The text is based on the heart-breaking, life-changing incident of Peter's denial of his Lord in the courtyard of the high priest ( Mark 14:54, 66-72).

"In the Hour of Trial" also teaches that believers, like Peter, are capable of rebelling and straying from the fellowship of their Lord. The Bible gives this warning: Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (I Corinthians 10:12). The antidote to sin's allurements is the ability to keep our minds centered on Christ and His redemptive work for us. And like Peter, we can have our fellowship with God restored when we return to Him in brokenness and true humility. Peter's bitter sorrow that led to true repentance was the start of his spiritual greatness. Like Peter, we must let our pride and self-sufficiency become our Christ-confidence if our lives are to count for the Lord.

In the hour of trial, Jesus, plead for me,
Lest by base denial I depart from Thee.
When Thou seest me waver, with a look recall,
Nor for fear or favor suffer me to fall.

With forbidden pleasures would this vain world charm,
Or its sordid treasures spread to work me harm,
Bring to my remembrance sad Gethsemane,
Or, in darker semblance, cross-crowned Calvary.

Should Thy mercy send me sorrow, toil and woe,
Or should pain attend me on my path below,
Grant that I may never fail Thy hand to see;
Grant that I may ever cast my care on Thee.

When my last hour cometh, fraught with strife and pain,
When my dust returneth to the dust again,
On Thy truth relying, through that mortal strife,
Jesus, take me, dying, to eternal life.

*For Today*: Mark 14:54, 66-72; John 16:33, 17:15; Galatians 6:14

Be sensitive to the possibility of denying your Lord even in some small word or action. Share with another believer who has strayed from God the truth and HOPE of a new beginning with Christ and His forgiveness.

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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