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Tell the Love of Jesus


This is an encore post from 2013. The stats show that it is the all-time favorite post on Blog4Writers. I’ll be back next week with new material.

There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole; there is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul.

This is the chorus of one of my favorite Negro spirituals, There Is a Balm in Gilead. It’s based on Jeremiah 8:22: “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?” (NIV).

The song has a number of verses, and there are many versions of each stanza. As a writer, the first verse speaks to me when I’m not motivated, when I’ve been rejected, or when I’m too distracted to write.

Sometimes I feel discouraged, and think my work’s in vain, but then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again.

The second verse encourages me because I am not very good at public speaking. To be honest, that’s why I prefer written communication to verbal. Many writers are like that, artisans of the written word but not gifted in public speaking.

If you can’t preach like Peter, if you can’t pray like Paul, just tell the love of Jesus, and say He died for all.

Christian writers are all about “telling the love of Jesus” to all who will read or listen. The last verse reminds us that Jesus will come to our aid when we need strength beyond our own.

Don’t ever feel discouraged, ’cause Jesus is your friend, and if you lack for knowledge, he’ll never fail to lend.

Writers, you can overcome discouragement, rejection, fear of public speaking—any number of difficulties—because Jesus is your friend. He will help you accomplish whatever task God has given you.

Readers, please comment on this post and share a Bible verse or song that encourages you. To comment, click on the post’s title in this e-mail, and it will link to the website where you can scroll down to comment where it says, “Leave a reply.”

There Is a Balm in Gilead lyrics here. More about the song at this link.

Photo credit: Gilead, David Bjorgen,

4 Responses to Tell the Love of Jesus

  1. Lucy N. Adams July 23, 2016 at 8:37 am #

    Dear dear Emily, you have shared one of my favorite hymns. Your sharing your life is always wonderful when we begin to write the “story behind the song”. I have done that for years with many hymn stories, and I love to read other interpretations. Thank you so much.
    I must confess that my love for public speaking is different than what you shared. So I have to be careful that my desire is not colored by my need to speak, but only God’s direction that I share with others. I stuttered as a child, and now that is healed so that, for years, I have been thankful for the freedom to speak with no fear of a stutter.
    So God uses music in different ways for each of us. He also speaks to each of us in love with His wisdom. And it is according to our needs that He knows so well.
    Blessings and love in our Lord Jesus.

  2. Jeaninne Stokes July 23, 2016 at 9:39 am #

    Emily, along with this song, I also like the lyrics of a song by Donald Lawrence called “Encourage yourself”, when I’m battling discouragement. Here are some of the lyrics I find most helpful:

    “Sometimes you have to encourage yourself. Depression is all around, but God is a present help. No matter how you feel, speak the word and you will be healed. Speak over yourself. Encourage yourself in the Lord”

  3. Emily Akin July 23, 2016 at 10:27 am #

    Thanks, Lucy. I can’t find it right now, but there is a recording on YouTube of a lady singing There Is a Balm in Gilead to a calypso beat. She sang the verses slow, but she sped up on the chorus, and the drummer that was accompanying her used the standard calypso rhythms. It made me think about it in a different way. The chorus is usually sung slowly with soul. But, it is a joyful message, and the calypso pointed that out to me.

  4. Emily Akin July 23, 2016 at 10:29 am #

    Thanks, Jeaninne. I’m going to look that song up on YouTube. It’s not familiar to me. Good thoughts, though.

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