“HELP ME, LORD”
“And I will wait upon the LORD,…and I will look for Him” (Isa. 8:17)
INTRO.: A song which teaches us to wait upon the Lord for guidance and look to Him is “Help Me, Lord.” The text was written by Jessie H. Brown Pounds (1861-1921). The tune was composed by Henry P. Morton. The song is listed as copyright 1926 by the Gospel Advocate Co. in Sweeter Than All Songs edited by C. M. Pullias. However, it is obvious that since Mrs. Pounds had died in 1921 the text must have been produced some time before that. Mrs. Pounds was the author of such well known songs as “Am I Nearer to Heaven Today?”, “Anywhere With Jesus,” “Are You Coming to Jesus Tonight?”, “Beautiful Isle of Somewhere,” “O ‘Twas Wonderful Love,” “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth,” “Soul, a Savior Thou Art Needing,” “The Way of the Cross Leads Home,” and “Will You Not Tell It Today.” Morton is best remembered as the composer of the melody for Mrs. Pounds’s lesser known song “The Touch of His Hand on Mine.” Among other hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, “Help Me, Lord” appeared in the 1935 Christian Hymns (No. 1) edited by L. O. Sanderson.
The song discusses several situations in which we need to look unto the Lord.
I. Stanza 1 says that we should look to the Lord rather than at those running beside us
“Help me, Lord, to look to Thee, Not to those who run with me,
Lest one swifter in the race Shame my own poor stumbling pace,
Or a laggard spur my pride—Let me look to neither side;
Help me, Lord, to look to Thee, Not to those who run with me.
A. There is danger in looking to those who run with us, as Rehoboam found out: 1 Ki. 12:6-16, 2 Cor. 10:12
B. Some may be swifter, but that should not necessarily shame us because the race is not always to the swift: Eccl. 9:11
C. Also, we should never let a laggard spur our pride to think that we are better than we really are: Prov. 16:18, Gal. 6:3
II. Stanza 2 says that we should look to the Lord instead of the past
“Help me, Lord, to look to Thee, Not to things behind for me,
Lest sins, once besetting, lure From rewards that shall endure;
Lest the past should hold me back From the runner’s narrow track,
Help me, Lord, to look to Thee, Not the things behind for me.”
A. There is a sense in which we should be forgetting those things which are behind: Phil. 3:13-14
B. We should never let past sins, once forgiven, to discourage us because the Lord no longer remembers them: Mic. 7:19, Heb. 10:17-18
C. Therefore, we must not let the past hold us back from running the race and finishing our course: 2 Tim. 4:6-8
III. Stanza 3 says that we should look to the Lord because He is the author of our faith
“Help me, Lord, to look to Thee, Author of the faith in me;
Throned and waiting at the goal, Let Thy love speed on my soul!
Let Thy strong desire fulfill All Thy longing, all Thy will;
Help me, Lord, to look to Thee, Finish now Thy work in me.”
A. The Bible tells us that as we run the race set before us we should look to Jesus because He is the author and finisher of our faith: Heb. 12:1-2
B. As the author and finisher of our faith, He is throned in heaven and waiting for us at the goal: Rev. 3:21
C. Therefore we look to Him so that we can fulfil His longing and will by setting our affections on things above rather than things of this earth: Col. 3:1-2
CONCL.: The Gospel Advocate Co. at one time owned a large number of copyrights for songs by various authors and composers which appeared in many of their older books but were dropped from their newer ones. It might be argued that they were not as good as other songs which were kept in the roster, and this may well be true, but that does not necessarily make them “bad” songs. It is good from time to time to dust off some of those older songs and see if they might not serve a useful purpose again. This one reminds me that as I run the race of life, I must look to my Savior constantly and say to Him, “Help Me, Lord.”