Summary: Amazing Grace! – Just the sound of those two little words brings comfort and joy to some many in their times of need
What’s so Amazing about God’s Amazing Grace?
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Amazing Grace! – Just the sound of those two little words brings comfort and joy to some many in their times of need.
And when we hear these words Amazing Grace,……. just about all of us are drawn to what is perhaps one of the most known, most loved, most recognized and yet most misunderstood songs to have ever been written. So in order to truly understand the song and how it applies to us, I want to take some time to discover the true meaning in and behind this song. But for us to do just that….we need to take a quick look at the song….and also the man who wrote this song.
His name was John Newton. John was born in July of 1725 in London England. Tragedy was a reoccurring theme in John’s life and it began early for him. His mother had passed away when John was just a young boy….a child……. and his father was a commander within the Royal Navy. John was forced into accompanying his father and by the time that “Little John” was 11, he had been by his father side on many voyages around the world. It was during this time that John began to acquire a real love for the sea and for the excitement and mystery that sea held. John so loved the sea that he was encouraged to join the Royal Navy himself by the time he reached his late teens……..but it did not take long for John to learn that this was not the life that he wanted. As a matter of a fact, John loved faded for the military and he actually abandoned his ship while he was serving. As you can probably imagine, the Royal Navy had strict rules for abandoning ship and John was captured and severely punished for his actions.
Life continued on and John was still not content within the Royal Navy and he was able to talk his way into an exchange of service on a slave ship thinking this would be a better way of life. But John found out that he had made an ever bigger mistake. It was here that he became the servant of a slave trader and it was here that John was brutally abused.
But God…in his grace always sees us in the time of our greatest need. Help would soon arrive and early in the spring of 1748…….John was rescued by a sea captain who had known his father. Life still was not what he had envisioned however, but he continues to remain as see. He eventually became captain of his own ship and continuing within the slave trade business. To say that John’s life was not turning out the way that he had envisioned would have been overly understated!
John began to reminisce back to his childhood…..remembering some of the religious instructions in his youth before his loving mother passed away. John had really loved his mom…. but he had long turned away from anything in the church or anything that pertained to God. But this homeward voyage was going to be different than any before. This homeward voyage was going to bring him face to face with his own mortality and this homeward voyage would be a time that the grace of God would begin to forever speak to….and change the heart of John Newton. It was during this voyage……that John would attempt to steer the ship through the most violent storm he had ever encountered. Perhaps he was in the middle of a great hurricane…we are not really sure, but what he experienced …..he would later refer to as his “great deliverance.” John recorded in his journal that when all seemed lost and the ship would surely sink, he exclaimed, “Lord, have mercy upon us.”
Later in his cabin he reflected on what he had said and it was during this time that John began to believe that God had addressed him…..personally…..in the middle of this great storm. And in this great storm, John for the first time saw clearly the grace of God protection upon his life. We could even wander if John’s mother…in her last few words had prayed for John and his protection and God was now answering those prayers. But whatever had happened in that storm….John KNEW WITH ALL OF HIS HEART…..that God had heard his cry for help!
For the rest of his life John observed the anniversary of May 10, 1748 as the day of his conversion, his day of salvation, his day of humiliation in which he subjected his will to that of a higher power. These words echoed in his heart and soul that day…. “Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ’tis grace has bro’t me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.”