My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less
"My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less" is a favorite and well-known hymn found not only in the Presbyterian Hymnal, but also the hymnals of of other denominations.
With music by Joseph Barny and text by Edward Mote, the hymn is also known as "On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand".
As author Edward Mote was walking to work one day in 1834, the thought popped into his head to write a hymn on the “Gracious Experience of a Christian.” As he walked up the road, he had the chorus, “On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.” By the end of the day, he had the first four verses written out and safely tucked away in his pocket. Later that week, he visited his friend whose wife was very ill, and as they couldn’t find a hymnal to sing from, he dug up his newly written verses and sang those with the couple. The wife enjoyed them so much she asked for a copy, and Mote went home to finish the last two verses and sent it off to a publisher, saying, “As these verses so met the dying woman’s case, my attention to them was the more arrested, and I had a thousand printed for distribution” (Lutheran Hymnal Handbook). Almost two centuries later, we continue to sing these words of hope and assurance, our declaration that in the midst of all trials and storms, we will cling to the rock that is our Savior.
My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand, All other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace; In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood, Support me in the whelming flood; When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound, Oh, may I then in Him be found; In Him, my righteousness, alone, Faultless to stand before the throne.