These Inward Trials, by John Newton
I first encountered this hymn when reading J.I. Packer’s Knowing God. Then about two years ago I decided to memorize it. I commend it to you for memorization. It’s a classic, and one to come back to again and again. I’ve found it to be true in my Christian life.
I asked the Lord, that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek more earnestly His face.
T’was He who taught me thus to pray
and He I trust has answered prayer,
but it has been in such a way
it almost drove me to despair.
I hoped that in some favored hour
At once He’d answer my request,
and by His love’s constraining power
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.
Instead of this, He made me feel
the hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry powers of hell
Assault my soul in every part.
Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.
‘Lord, why is this?’ I trembling cried,
`Wilt thou pursue Thy worm to death?’
`This in this way,’ the Lord replied,
`I answer prayer for grace and faith.
These inward trials I employ
From self and pride to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou mayst seek thy all in Me.’