Faithfully Thinking: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

The song Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus has been running through my mind for a couple of weeks now.

I’ve been humming it when the anxiety starts to overtake me.

When I say anxiety has been overtaking me, I mean it has been overtaking me completely. My body has been trembling, my legs have been weak, and my mind has been clouded.

These are the lyrics I have been singing when I can’t slow my mind down otherwise:

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.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus.

Not upon a celebrity pastor.

No upon a movement, even if that movement is good.

Not on a person or a group or a group of ideas.

Our eyes are to be on Jesus.

Not the Jesus other people say Jesus is.

Not the Jesus a pastor told us is Jesus.

Not the Jesus a TV show told us was Jesus.

The Jesus we know from reading the Bible. The Jesus we know does not condone sin but still loves the sinner.

Here are the rest of the lyrics of the song (which I don’t remember when I sing it!):

 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!

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.

Thro’ death into life everlasting,
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion–
For more than conqu’rors we are!

His Word shall not fail you–He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

The hymn was written by Helen Lemmel in 1922.

According to, “At age 55, Helen heard a statement that deeply impressed her: “So then, turn your eyes upon Him, look full into His face and you will see that the things of earth will acquire a strange new dimness.”

“I stood still,” Helen later said, “and singing in my soul and spirit was the chorus, with not one conscious moment of putting word to word to make rhyme, or note to note to make melody. The verses were written the same week, after the usual manner of composition, but nonetheless dictated by the Holy Spirit.”

As humans, it is hard to keep our eyes on Jesus and not on the storm swirling around us. Trust me, I’ve been failing at the message of the song for weeks now. I’ve succeeded a few times and felt better for it but I don’t keep my eyes on Jesus and on what he can do like I should. We need to daily remind ourselves where our focus should be.

A song like this one helps ground me, along with verses in the Bible.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3 ESV

What helps to remind you where your focus should be?

6 thoughts on “Faithfully Thinking: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

  1. First heard this song 50+ years ago from an old salty seaman pastor … loved it then and still do… so meaningful… I think of him each time I hear this song ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amen! Yes, I love that song too!! It really does help to keep remembering that He has never left me yet, and He’s not going to now either. Thanks for sharing the song history too. Such a gift.


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