‘Hold Me Fast”

“HOLD ME FAST”
“Hold up my goings in Thy paths, that my footsteps slip not” (Ps. 17:5)

     INTRO.: A song which asks the Lord to hold up our goings in His paths that our footsteps do not slip is “Hold Me Fast.” The text was written, under the pseudonym of Charlotte G. Homer, and the tune was composed both by Charles Hutchinson Gabriel (1856-1932). It is listed as copyright 1931 by the Gospel Advocate Co. Gabriel was the author and composer of many famous gospel songs such as “O That Will Be Glory For Me,” “God Is Calling the Prodigal,” “I Stand Amazed,” “Send the Light,” “Only a Step,” and “Where the Gates Swing Outward Never;” the text for “Come to the Feast;” and the tunes for “Higher Ground,” “An Evening Prayer,” “Harvest Time” “Jesus, Rose of Sharon,” “Only in Thee,” “Brighten the Corner,” and “The Way of the Cross Leads Home.” Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, “Hold Me Fast” appeared in the 1935 Christian Hymns (No. 1) edited by L. O. Sanderson.

     The song recognizes the importance of looking to the Lord to keep us in His ways.

I. Stanza 1 seeks the Lord’s blessings in our sufferings
“Lord, I would honor Thee in all things always,
Love, faith, and loyalty to Thee would show;
Even to Golgotha, If Thou shalt send me,
I will go willingly, as Thou didst go.”
 A. The Lord asks that we be faithful and loyal unto Him till death: Rev. 2:10
 B. While we do not literally go to Golgotha, just as He bore His cross to that place, so we must deny self and take up our cross to follow Him: Matt. 16:24
 C. Therefore, we must willingly suffer whatever comes our way for Him: 1 Pet. 4:12-13

II. Stanza 2 seeks the Lord’s blessings in our service
“Lord, I would ever be zealous in duty,
Ready at any time Thy call to heed;
I would go willingly, anxiously, gladly,
Where I may serve Thee best in word or deed.”
 A. The Lord wants us to be zealous in fulfilling our duties to Him: Tit. 2:14
 B. Therefore, we need to be ready at any time to heed His call, as was Isaiah: Isa. 6:8
 C. It should be our desire to go wherever we may serve Him best in word or deed: Jn. 12:26

III. Stanza 3 seeks the Lord’s blessings in our weakness
“Lord, wilt Thou strengthen me for every duty;
Help me to comprehend Thy will in me.
‘Neath Thy great sheltering wings securely hide me,
That I may daily live closer to Thee.”
 A. The Lord desires that we be strengthened in the power of His might that we might withstand in the evil day: Eph. 6:10-13
 B. This will help us to comprehend with all the saints what His will is for us: Eph. 3:16-18
 C. It will also help us to be kept securely hidden under the shadow of His great sheltering wings: Ps. 63:7

     CONCL.: The chorus expresses trust in the Lord to assist us in all of our needs.
“I am trusting Thee, hold me fast,
Till the trials of life are past;
Give me grace for the coming days,
That I may better give Thee praise.”
One might argue that this is not one of Gabriel’s more noteworthy pieces, which may undoubtedly be part of the reason why it has been dropped from recent hymnbooks. But, at the same time, it is not a bad song and might help serve to remind me of my dependence upon the Lord to “Hold Me Fast.”

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