…I put my trust in you. v3
…in God I trust v4
In God I trust… v11
One of my favourite hymns is “Rock of Ages Cleft for me” written by Augustus Toplady (1776).
Augustus Toplady was born at Farnham, County Surrey, England in 1740. His father who served as an officer in the British army, was killed in the siege of Carthagena in 1741. Thereafter his widowed mother placed him at the renowned Westminster school, London. Subsequently he graduated at Trinity College Dublin.
Toplady came to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ at the age of sixteen at a service held in a barn in Codymain, Co Wexford, Ireland after he heard a sermon preached by James Morris, a follower of John Wesley. The text was Ephesians 2v13: "But now, in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ”. Later Augustus wrote the following regarding his conversion experience: "Strange that I who had so long sat under the means of grace in England should be brought right unto God in an obscure part of Ireland, midst a handful of people met together in a barn, and by the ministry of one who could hardly spell his own name. Surely it was the Lord's doing and is marvellous. The excellency of such power must be of God and cannot be of man. The regenerating spirit breathes not only on whom but likewise, when and where and as He listeth."
Later he was to become a Church of England Minister and the author of “Rock of Ages”.
The idea behind the term Rock of ages is found in Isaiah 26 v3-4: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock” ESV or as the Authorised Version puts it: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength:” In the margin of my Bible it describes the term “Is everlasting strength” as “the rock of ages”.
In times of trial, adversity, uncertainty and trouble we can have peace of mind as we TRUST in the Lord for ever as we TRUST the Rock of Ages who is no less than the Lord Jesus Christ.
So be encouraged in these days of uncertainty even though you may be locked in due to the coronavirus. I have the following notes written beside these verses in my Bible for many years.
As followers of Jesus we can have:
Perfect Peace: “You keep him in perfect peace”. This is a peace that passeth all understanding.
Perfect Perspective: “whose mind is stayed on you”. The chorus of another well-known hymn puts it as follows: ‘Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest. Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest’.
Perfect Placement: “because he TRUSTS in you” The placement of our trust must be firmly on Christ the Solid Rock.
Perfect Power: “for the Lord God is an everlasting rock” or “for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength”
With confidence we can put our full trust in the Rock of Ages for salvation, security, safety and a home in Heaven at the end of life’s journey. He alone can give real peace of mind.
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save me from its guilt and power.
Not the labour of my hands
Can fulfil Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All could never sin erase,
Thou must save, and save by grace.
Nothing in my hands I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress,
Helpless, look to Thee for grace:
Foul, I to the fountain fly,
Wash me, Savior, or I die.
While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.