Railroad track to bright light.

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Eyes Upon Jesus

Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.

Sing it, Helen Howarth Lemmel from over a century ago. Sing it, girlfriend from yesteryear.

We know little of Helen. We know she was greatly influenced by this young woman: Lilias Trotter. After reading a tract written by Trotter, Helen penned today’s addition to our Practice of Praise.

Here are the words to her original hymn:

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Saviour,
And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more has dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!


His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!


The hymn has enjoyed over a century of popularity (first published in 1918) and has been changed by various artists. You will note that today’s modern hymn basically writes it anew, just keeping the powerful refrain.

Here are the words from Sovereign Grace music’s rendition.


Sometimes it takes an almost superhuman effort to turn. I mean, we want to focus on Jesus, but life can be hard and events overwhelm. We tend to stay there, in the overwhelm. Somehow we must think it needs us.

We can find ourselves in a place where we are just too anxious, too watchful–we don’t think that we can take our eyes off of this thing that’s in front of us for even a minute. Yet, that’s probably an indicator that it’s time to re-focus!

Sometimes, when we are very sad, maybe even drifting toward feelings of depression, the energy to turn our attention in another direction just isn’t there. But our Savior knows this. He helps us, when we ask. Our effort to turn our eyes upward is not lost on Him. He sees. He knows. He cares.


When you are riding a horse, where you turn you head is where your horse will follow.

When you are driving a car, your car will automatically follow what you are looking at.

Wherever your attention is focused, the animal or the car will follow.

What has our attention has us.

Eyes On Me

It’s so easy to keep our eyes upon ourselves. (Let’s not allow guilt to invade our thinking here.) This is not an indictment. It’s a fact — and one necessary for survival! So let’s not knock it.

Yet, when we keep our eyes upon the (often worthy) pursuits of our lives, and forget to sit at His feet or gaze on His face, we get pretty stuck. Stuck on us.

And so we need these reminders, these proddings to turn. Like in today’s song.

In the act of turning our eyes, we choose to change the trajectory of our thoughts, and thus our attitudes and emotions, as well.

I hope you enjoy this song. I hope it blesses you, today.

Turn Your Eyes • The Glorious Christ Live