In his book on Issac Watts, Douglas Bond draws some lessons from the life of the scholar and hymn writer:
As a lyric poet, Watts was no doubt tempted to reorganize his priorities and clamor after the adulation of the literary world with his pen. But this episode in his life demonstrates that grace prevailed, and so he persisted in keeping his eyes on Jesus as he used his gifts.
Watts’ determination to do everything to the glory of God, even writing lyric poetry not specifically intended for singing the praises of God, can help the vast majority of Christians who work daily at secular callings. Whether you are a farmer or a CEO, a construction worker or an academic, a mother or a managing editor, you, like Watts, want your work to bring honor to the name of Christ.
Moreover, as Watts experienced, who among us has not had disappointments of one kind or another? In some instances, they may be minor setbacks; in others, as it was for Watts, they may be disappointments that profoundly alter our hopes and dreams for the rest of our lives. Smitten with love for a woman he would never be able to marry, Watts pressed on, believing that God had ordained good for his life, regardless of the disappointment and loneliness through which he was passing.
So it is for each one of us. As with Watts, we see only dimly through the bewildering mysteries of life. Yet as Watts did, by grace alone, we too can know and believe that God has portioned out our lives for His glory and for our good. And strong in faith, upheld by divine love, we, too, can see through the gloom and sing the praises of our Savior, who passed through deeper woes than ever Watts or we will endure.
(The Poetic Wonder Of Isaac Watts)