Christmas Devotional | 2023 - Day 2


By Ashley Gross

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.” ~ Luke 1:31

Written in 1882, the lyrics of the popular hymn, “‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus,” have been sung by Christians for over a hundred years, clinging to the hope and truth that Jesus saves. 

Each verse penned by Louisa M. R. Stead is incredibly sobering: 

‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

This beautiful hymn was written out of disaster. Stead came to the United States in 1871 and had hoped to be a missionary, but she was unable to due to poor health. Later, she married and had a daughter named Lily. When Lily was four, the family went to enjoy a picnic on Long Island Sound when they heard a young boy screaming as he was drowning. Mr. Stead rushed to help him, but sadly, both Mr. Stead and the boy drowned and were killed. What started as a normal day ended in death and sadness. 

Left as a widow and without a father, Louisa and Lily learned to trust Jesus even in the worst of circumstances. This is the incident that inspired the words: 

“‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, ‘Thus saith the Lord!’”

In Luke 1:31, the angel Gabriel spoke to Mary and said, “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.” 

The name Jesus means “Savior.” Matthew 1:21b tells us this name is given because “He will save His people from their sins.” 

Sin is what separates us from a holy God. In His perfect plan, at just the right time, God sent His Son Jesus to earth to restore our relationship back to Himself. To reconcile the loss. To redeem all mankind. To defeat sin and death once and for all. 

God sent Jesus to save us—you and me— sinners desperate in need of saving from that which we could not save ourselves. 

Without a personal relationship with Jesus, we are hopeless. Without Jesus, death means eternal separation from the one true holy God. 

But with Jesus, we are saved. Pause and think about that. Through faith in Jesus alone, our relationship with the Creator of heaven and earth is forever restored, and eternal life is freely given. We are called children of God. No longer living in darkness without hope but filled with the Holy Spirit and full of joy. 

That is good, good news. That is why Jesus came. That is why in the midst of tragedy, the words ‘Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend’ can be sung. Because for the believer, death in this life means opening our eyes to the glory of Heaven and seeing Jesus face to face. 

It is sweet to trust in Jesus, my friend.

When we counsel young children for baptism, it is a precious time to talk one one-on-one with a child about when they came to trust Jesus as Savior. We talk about having a relationship with Jesus and how following Jesus is a lifelong journey: One day at a time, one moment at a time. 

Choosing to trust Jesus as Savior is the very best decision any person can make. But then every decision made after that reflects what you know and believe about who Jesus is. 

Jesus is worthy to be praised. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is trustworthy, faithful, working for our good, and seated at the right hand of the Father today, interceding on our behalf. 

It is my prayer that you know Jesus as your personal Savior this Christmas. Rest in the truth that Jesus is the most precious gift of all. 

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him!
How I’ve proved him o’er and o’er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust him more!

Questions for Thought

  • When was the last time you reflected on your salvation experience? Where were you? Who were you with? Spend some time today recalling when the Holy Spirit led you to a personal relationship with Jesus. 
  • Do you have a family member who needs a personal relationship with Jesus? Pause and pray for their salvation today. Pray for boldness to share your faith with them this Christmas season.


Dear God, thank You for Your Son, Jesus. It is sweet to trust Him. To know that Jesus is working for my good and to know Jesus never fails. Help me believe that truth, even when my circumstances are hard. Thank You for saving me from my sin . . . something I cannot do on my own. Because of Jesus, I am able to have a right relationship with You and I am able to have eternal life. I am able to have hope. Help me to trust Jesus all the days of my life and obey You in all that I do and say. In Jesus’ precious and holy name I pray, amen. 

Daily Challenge

Take time to pause and sing “‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus” together as a family this week. Have each family member pray out loud after singing to thank Jesus for the salvation He brings.

Author Bio

Ashley Gross

Director of Preteens

Ashley is passionate about seeing children come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. Her favorite part of children and preteen ministry is when boys and girls discover God is the one true God! She graduated from Dallas Baptist University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Studies and a Master’s Degree in Children’s Ministry. She and her husband, Kris, are proud parents of their daughter, Avery, and two dogs, Murphy and Asher.