This hymn is one of those most dear to my heart. There is a reason, I think, that it has touched so many hearts since it’s writing in 1779.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. What did God see in me? Is there any good thing worthy of love in this wretch? Not though I search most diligently. Truly I once was lost in myself, in the world, in pleasure, in people. Surely I was once blind to God, his mercy, his love, his grace. But Jesus makes the blind see.
‘Twas grace that tought my rebellious heart to fear God, to fear his wrath, to fear displeasing him. It was the very grace lavished upon me that has put such a fear in my soul, for how great must God be to lavish such a grace upon a one such as I? Yet lo! My fears of wrath, of punishment, of slavery, they have all been banished by grace! How much more fearful this makes my heart.
I have fought through so many dangers and perils, I have travailed through so many toils and labors and works for my Lord, I have walked unscathed through countless snares of the enemy, traps of the demons; O, I have been through hell and back. But only by grace have I been brought thus far, and only by grace shall God lead me home at last.
The Lord has promised such a good to me, such a hope and a joy. I will trust in his word, I shall rest all my hopes upon it, for God’s word shall not fail. Heaven and earth will pass away before the word of the Lord shall fail. For as long as my life is prolonged upon this earth, God is my shield and my portion. He is all that I need, for the things of the earth–money, food, clothes, music, physical comfort and pleasure–these are worthless and cold compared to the abounding grace of God.
One day soon my flesh will fail, one day soon my heart will stop, one day soon my mortal life shall cease. But on that last day, O that glorious last day of the resurrection, I shall possess behind the veil a life of joy and peace. Forever shall I dwell with my God and my Father.
Soon the earth will disolve like the showers of night snow on a sunny autumn morning. One day my Lord will return shining so brightly the Sun will be dim and barely visible in comparison. Oh what a fearful day, that terrible day of judgement when every man shall render account for his words and deeds before the majestic throne of God. But on that day I will stand straight before the throne, unlike the many who shall tremble and fall on their faces crying pitifully for the sight, for by God’s grace I will have lived a life worthy of my master, and all my sin shall be covered by amazing grace.