O The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

Open Your Bible

Romans 5:6-11, Romans 8:31-39, Hebrews 6:19

Text: Romans 5:6-11, Romans 8:31-39, Hebrews 6:19

I am not a great singer.

In middle school, I decided to make up for mediocre pitch and air support with huge confidence and volume. Instead of being the best singer in the choir, I’m the most enthusiastic. You’ve probably sat next to me in church and thought, “Well, she sure is enjoying herself.”

Once you start to take joy in singing you can really go to town with the harmony. And when I learned to read harmony, well, I was unstoppable. Or is it insufferable? Hard to know.

In college I had a great teacher who taught us to love the rich theological heritage of church music. We all started singing these dear hymns and songs together, and as we learned them, the words and melodies became the background and texture of our college life. Adorable as it sounds, those hymns really were a touchstone for us.

My hands-down favorite from that season is “O The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus.” The harmony is so satisfying to sing, and the whole song rumbles with robust enthusiasm. The hymn writer, Samuel Trevor Francis, didn’t always rumble with robust enthusiasm. When he tells the story of his life, he remembers walking along the Thames in London as a young man and wishing he could throw himself in the water and end it all.

To varying degrees, I think a lot of us have moments of wanting to give up. And not just because “Thames” is hard to pronounce (FYI- it’s “tems”). That college girl singing hymns couldn’t imagine letting go of life; there was still so much joy to be squeezed out of it! But years later, when all the babies were crying and all the diapers needed changing, life looked less plump with promise to me.

Samuel went on to live a very long and gospel-driven life. Good for him, right? Well, I believe that God rescued him. Samuel had a bad spell and he longed for the numbing embrace of water all around him, but instead God gave him love—love “rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness” over him!

We’ve all heard the lies that Samuel heard in his head. Life can be the worst. Let’s just stop here for a minute: I hear you. I read your stories, too. Some of you have been kicked in the gut too many times for it to be funny anymore.

But I have to believe that the solid, reliable, and deep love of Jesus that surrounds me is better than the ephemeral lies swirling in my head. The Bible promises that He is “a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain.” (Hebrews 6:19)

I get super car sick when I’m the passenger, and a few years ago I was riding with my sister and feeling like I was for sure going to lose it. I put my head down, rocked back and forth, and sang this song to myself. After the trip was over, everyone had a good laugh about how I’m the crazy singing lady.

But isn’t that what we all need sometimes? Sometimes we just need to tuck our heads low, forget about everything else, and hold on to the one thing we know to be true. Shut everything else out for just a minute today, and hold on to the “deep, deep love of Jesus—vast, unmeasured, boundless, free.”

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.
– Ephesians 3:17-18


by Samuel Trevor Francis, 1875

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me,
Is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth,
Changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’’er His loved ones,
Died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth,
Watcheth o’er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Love of every love the best!
Tis an ocean vast of blessing,
Tis a haven sweet of rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory,
For it lifts me up to Thee!


Find an exclusive hand-lettered print with lyrics from “O The Deep, Deep Love Of Jesus” in the She Reads Truth shop!

Click below to hear the hymn on the She Reads Truth |Hymns II Spotify playlist


(133) Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

133 thoughts on "O The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus"

  1. Crystel Garrett says:

    I don’t remember this hymn, but what a profound testament of God’s love for us.

  2. Lizzy Butterfield says:

    I’ve grown up in a church that sings hymns my whole life and I’ve never heard this one! Or, at least, I don’t remember it. The words are beautiful, how have I missed this one??

  3. Mara Babb says:

    In the throes of postpartum as a new mom, this was balm for my soul. How vast is the Lords love for me. All praise to Him.