In the Hour of Trial

In the Hour of Trial

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 from fear or favor
suffer me to fall.

With forbidden pleasures
should 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.

The end of time—the "day" that is the common theme of our lessons and of this end of the church year—is feared only by those who are without trust in Jesus. Events such as personal trials, pain, or the death of a loved one, can threaten to take away our faith in Jesus. In the same way personal successes, pleasures, and treasures can tempt us to trust in them for life instead of Jesus. Even if in life we experience "sorrow, toil, and woe," the cross of Jesus stands as the sign of God's promise of mercy. Even in the midst of sadness, frustration, despair, or depression our life is good not because we win or succeed or have fun, but because Jesus gives us mercy through his life given for us. The poet invites the question: How will we look at or evaluate the events of our lives? We can look at those events and regard them as the key mark of how God treats us. Or we can trust that through his sacrifice for us on the cross Jesus rules always in us and through us as Christ the King.

Our Father, you give us faith in Jesus crucified and risen so that in him we have already gone through "the day" and have come out alive in him. Yet tragedies and painful sickness make us feel like "the day" is happening to us now. Give us your Holy Spirit to be our faith in the times we grieve and in the times others make judgments of us. Amen.

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