My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But, wholly trust in Jesus’ name

The original version of this hymn was written in 1834 by Edward Mote. Edward became a Christian, while still a boy, through the influence of a cabinetmaker to whom he was apprenticed.  He grew up to become a skilled cabinetmaker with a successful business.

Aged 55, Mote became a minister.  He served out the rest of his life – more than 20 years – as the pastor of a Baptist Church in Horsham, Sussex.

When darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil

I love the way that dated language expresses what, for Christians, is timeless truth. Mote starts with theology ‘Jesus’ blood and righteousness’ and moves swiftly on to the certainty of hope, and the simple completeness of trusting Jesus.

This isn’t just when I feel God close or when life is going well – it’s for dark, stormy days. I may be feeling sadness, aloneness or completely rubbish. Mote reminds us… I rest… my anchor holds… I’m safe and secure.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,

Mote’s original version of the hymn had this refrain. He’s referring to Jesus’ story of the two housebuilders, one building his house on a rock, one on the sand. It’s a story about   building our lives on a solid foundation so that we shall survive the winds and storms of life.

Christ alone, Cornerstone
Weak made strong in the Saviour’s love
Through the storm, He is Lord,
Lord of all

This adaption of Mote’s hymn was written in 2013 – a new refrain, a modern tune but the same truth and reality. Building my life on Jesus I can know strength in my weakness, love that overcomes everything, and a reliable solidity in my storms.

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