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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sometimes I just need a friend to come and pat me on the back and say, "You can do it! I believe in you! Keep going!" But sometimes real people are not around. Or maybe they are, and I just can't see them.

Hebrews 12:1 says, "We are surrounded by ...a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith." The NLT Bible comments: "Their faithfulness is a constant encouragement to us. Others have run the race and won, and their witness stirs us to run and win also."

For me, one of those faithful witnesses is Thomas Chisholm. You're probably familiar with his hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness, but in 1897 he wrote another one that never fails to encourage me when I sing or pray it. It goes like this:

♫ O to be like Thee! Blessed Redeemer, This is my constant longing and prayer. Gladly I'll forfeit all of earth's treasures, Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear. O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee, Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art! Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness; Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

O to be like Thee! Full of compassion, Loving, forgiving, tender and kind. Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting. Seeking the wandering sinner to find. O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee, Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art! Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness; Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

O to be like Thee! Lowly in spirit, Holy and harmless, patient and brave; Meekly enduring cruel reproaches, Willing to suffer others to save. O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee, Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art! Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness; Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

O to be like Thee! While I am pleading, Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love. Make me a temple deemed to receive You. Fit me for life and heaven above. O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee, Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art! Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness; Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart. ♫


I'm so glad that Thomas Chisholm wrote down the songs God gave him so I could be strengthened and encouraged more than a hundred years later.