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Hymn History: “There’s Within My Heart a Melody”

2 min

Reverend Luther Bridgers began preaching when he was seventeen and a student at Asbury Seminary in Kentucky. There he met his wife, and by his mid-twenties, Reverend Bridgers had a growing family and a busy ministry of preaching, evangelism, and church-planting. His life was filled with God’s blessings. 

One day while his wife and children were visiting grandparents, tragedy struck. “Fire! Fire!” 

The house was quickly engulfed in flames. The grandparents somehow managed to escape, but Mrs. Bridgers and her three young sons were trapped inside! As the flames swiftly consumed the house, the gathering neighbors sadly realized that nothing could be done to save the four souls trapped inside. 

Soon the news of the fire and the lost lives reached Reverend Bridgers, who had been preaching in a nearby town. The devastating loss of his wife and children gripped the preacher’s soul.

For several months the grieving man was too stunned to continue his ministry. However, he knew he could find his encouragement in the Lord. Reverend Bridgers eventually turned from his sorrow to looking to God alone. God restored the man’s joy. Four years later the reverend remarried and continued his Gospel ministry.

Reverend Bridgers wrote the words and music to the hymn “There’s Within My Heart a Melody.” The Biblical truth of this song affirms the way to overcome the most disappointing events. 

There’s within my heart a melody;
Jesus whispers sweet and low,
“Fear not, I am with thee, peace, be still,”
In all of life’s ebb and flow.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Sweetest name I know,
Fills my ev’ry longing,
Keeps me singing as I go. 

While all the verses hint of difficulties and trials, stanza four indicates that the key to resist discouragement is to follow Jesus: 

Tho’ sometimes He leads thru waters deep,
Trials fall across the way;
Tho’ sometimes the path seems rough and steep,
See His footprints all the way. 

Reverend Bridgers knew that Jesus—not circumstances or family or friends or blessings—would keep a melody in his heart. He testified that joy is found by gazing steadfastly at the all-sufficient Savior. 

God is the only Source of true and lasting joy! Since happiness is based upon changing relationships or material comforts, it will be shattered. However, when we are focused on Christ and His steadfast lovingkindness, His joy will sustain us. Reverend Bridgers and many other Christians have discovered this secret. Setting our affections on Christ is the only way we can keep singing when trials cross our way. 

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