Saturday, April 30, 2011

"Standing On the Promises"

Russell Kelso Carter 1849 - 1928

Born in 1849, Russell Kelso Carter, led a varied and interesting life. In his youth he was a star athlete and excellent student. He became a teacher and a coach for a period of time and then studied to become an ordained Methodist Minister. Amazingly, he later went to medical school and spent his later years as a doctor.
As if all this were not enough, he was also a musician and song writer.

Carter was a Christian for most of his life, but it wasn't until he experienced a medical crises at the age of thirty that his faith deepened. With his life in the balance, he pleaded with God for healing. He promised the Lord, whether he was healed or not, he would spend whatever time he had left fully serving Him.

Over the course of the next several months Carter drew closer to the Lord and gradually his heart began to heal. His strength returned, and he lived for forty-nine more years.

The words of the hymn he had written years earlier, "Standing On The Promises," took on a deeper, richer meaning for him. He had experienced first-hand the faithfulness of God - not just in his healing but in his life.

"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for He is faithful that promised.” (Hebrews 10:23)

Standing On the Promises

Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let His praises ring;
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing, standing
Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
Standing, standing
I'm standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living word of God I shall prevail
Standing on the promises of God.


Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord,
Bound to Him eternally by love's strong cord,
Over-coming daily with the Spirit's sword,
Standing on the promises of God.


Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
Listening every moment to the Spirit's call,
Resting in my Savior, as my all in all,
Standing on the promises of God.


note: I sometimes find conflicting biographical information on these writers; there are also times there is much more information than I can include here. I try my best to just give a little "taste" of the stories behind these beautiful hymns. If you would like more information it is readily available on-line.


  1. This song goes through my mind so often, though I haven't sung it in church for a very long time.

  2. This would make my top ten list of regular hymn favorites. I always smiled when I saw this on Dad's bulletin, because I knew it seemed to automatically lift the congregations' spirits (mine included). It was much more difficult to continue dwelling on negative stuff after I sang that song.
    Again, I never knew the background--an amazing man. Thank you again for a wonderful lesson.
    And I loved it when Alan Jackson came out with a Cd of old time hymns. He does a good job with them.

  3. Love it...
    like Dawn said, we don't sing it at church anymore.

  4. I'm glad I found your blog by clicking on your comment on Especially Heather. I LOVE music, and I really like when you post a hymn and the story behind it. When I saw "Standing on the Promises" today, I couldn't wait to scroll down and hear the music. I was not disappointed! Thank you so much.
    Ann Parker

  5. That's a great old hymn I haven't heard in a long time. Thanks for sharing it and the interesting information about Russell Carter.

  6. that was a good one.
    i had to sing along :-)