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Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

When life in this world brings challenges, where do we look for help? There are many places that people look. Some of these may bring immediate distraction or feelings of relief, though often only pushing the problem into a growing pile to deal with later. The trouble with these other places is that they often bring additional difficulties or fail to sustain us.

O soul, are you weary and troubled?

No light in the darkness you see?

There’s light for a look at the Savior,

And life, more abundant, and free!

This first stanza from the hymn beckons those who are weary and troubled in their souls. This call is not limited to those who are living apart from Christ. It includes those of us who are His followers yet are faced with dark trials obscuring their vision of His light.

For either of these groups, the answer is the same. Isaiah 9:2 declares, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness, a light has dawned.”

In John 8:12, Jesus tells us that He is the light of the world and that those who follow Him will never have to walk in darkness but will have the light of life (John 8:12). So why is it that sometimes all we see is darkness in our circumstances? The problem is not that Christ is absent during our difficulty; it is a faulty focus.

In Matthew 14, Peter briefly walked on water with Jesus. It says that he did so until his focus moved to the wind around him and he became afraid. Rather than keeping his eyes on the one who called him, verse 30 says that he saw the wind and, fearing, began to sink.

As we sing the refrain of this hymn, we are encouraged to look fully at Jesus – in His wonderful face – rather than at the problems surrounding us. Doing so may not change our circumstances, but it will dim them as we bring the glory and grace of Jesus into focus.

Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face,

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

In the light of His glory and grace.

From this change in perspective, we experience “life, more abundant, and free.” These lines come from John 10:10b, “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full,” and John 8:36, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Soul, are you weary and troubled? Have your troubles and pain darkened your view? Return your gaze to your Savior, who cares for you and can guide you through this valley. He will lead you by the hand during your darkest nights, through which He has already gone. He, the light of life, is near. Turn your eyes upon Him.


Author: Angie

I am a writer and lover of Jesus, the Bible, and hymns old and new. My husband and I have four adult children, a dog, and a cat.

2 thoughts on “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”

  1. This hymn is precious to me. One that I can remember singing in my childhood church. I especially love the part where it says, “And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.”
    It is strange how that happens and I’m so thankful.


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