Amazing Grace: 366 Hymn Stories

March 18
Words and Music by Elisha A. Hoffman 1839–1929
The Lord stood at my side and gave me strength… (2 Timothy 4:17)
Oh, help me, Lord, to take the time
To set all else aside,
That in the secret place of prayer
I may with you abide.
One of the loneliest feelings we can have comes when we face a time of need without having a loving friend to talk to about it. Everyone needs at least one trusted friend in whom to confide.
Pastor Elisha A. Hoffman, author and composer of more than 2,000 gospel songs, gives the following account of the writing of this well-loved hymn:
During a pastorate in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, there was a woman to whom God permitted many visitations of sorrow and affliction. Coming to her home one day, I found her much discouraged. She unburdened her heart, concluding with the question, “Brother Hoffman, what shall I do? What shall I do?” I quoted from the Word, then added, “You cannot do better than to take all of your sorrows to Jesus. You must tell Jesus.”
For a moment she seemed lost in mediation. Then her eyes lighted as she exclaimed, “Yes, I must tell Jesus.”
As I left her home I had a vision of that joy-illuminated face … and I heard all along my pathway the echo, “I must tell Jesus … I must tell Jesus.”
Pastor Hoffman quickly wrote the words and soon completed the music as well. Since its publication in 1894 in Pentecostal Hymns, this hymn text has reminded many believers that they have a heavenly Friend who is always available to hear and help:
I must tell Jesus all of my trials; I cannot bear these burdens alone: In my distress He kindly will help me; He ever loves and cares for His own.
I must tell Jesus all of my troubles; He is a kind, compassionate friend; if I but ask Him, He will deliver, make of my troubles quickly an end.
O how the world to evil allures me! O how my heart is tempted to sin! I must tell Jesus, and He will help me over the world the vict’ry to win.
Chorus: I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus! I cannot bear my burdens alone; I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus! Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.

For Today: Psalm 6:9; Proverbs 14:26; John 14:14; Hebrews 2:18; Hebrews 10:22

Determine to go to Jesus with all of the concerns, temptations or trials that may arise. Share this truth with another who may also be hurting. Carry this tune with you knowing that—

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