Help for Suffering Christians from John Newton

Do you struggle to understand God’s purpose in your pain? The hymn “I Asked the Lord That I Might Grow” by John Newton is a beautiful reminder that God is at work in our suffering. You must read to the end of the song to get the whole message of the song. Below the lyrics is a YouTube video of an updated version of the hymn by Indelible Grace. I love the allusion to Jonah 4:6-8 (KJV) in the fifth stanza (“Blasted my gourds”). Christian, remember that God has a purpose in your suffering. It is for our ultimate good and God’s glory.

I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.

’Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
“’Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
I answer prayer for grace and faith.

These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.”

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