Posted by: rcottrill | March 21, 2014

Never Give Up

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Words: Frances Jane (Fanny) Crosby (b. Mar. 24, 1820; d. Feb. 12, 1915)
Music: Ira Allan Sankey (b. Aug. 30, 1874; d. Dec. 30, 1915)

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Note: This gospel song was one of Fanny’s later creations, published in 1903. Ira Allan Sankey was the son of Ira David Sankey, who was for many years associated with the ministry of Dwight L. Moody. The son became president of the Biglow and Main Publishing Company, responsible for publishing many of Fanny Crosby’s songs.

Some fifteen times (with the refrains) we have the word “never” here. Fanny is urging us not to abandon the work of the Lord, not to be a deserter of the cause. The emphasis reminded me of a famous speech given in October of 1941, by Winston Churchill. With the war raging in Europe, and England under attack, and having come through the Blitz (1940-41), he said to the boys at Harrow School:

“For everyone, surely, what we have gone through in this period–I am addressing myself to the School–surely from this period of ten months this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

In the Bible, this kind of persistence is described with such expressions as persevering and being steadfast. Godly Job, in the Old Testament, is set before us a an example of perseverance in a time of severe trial and suffering (Jas. 5:11). And we are taught that, when we trust in the Lord as Job did, the eventual outcome of our trials can be a persevering (strong) faith (Rom. 5:3-4).

CH-1) Never be sad or desponding,
If thou hast faith to believe.
Grace, for the duties before thee,
Ask of thy God and receive.

Never give up, never give up,
Never give up to thy sorrows,
Jesus will bid them depart.
Trust in the Lord, trust in the Lord,
Sing when your trials are greatest,
Trust in the Lord and take heart.

One of the key areas needing this kind of steady persistence is in our prayer life. Sometimes there will be a temptation to give up, and stop praying, when the answer doesn’t come quickly, or it isn’t what we’d expect. But God’s Word counsels us to be “patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer” (Rom. 12:12).

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Eph. 6:18).

CH-2) What if thy burdens oppress thee;
What though thy life may be drear;
Look on the side that is brightest,
Pray, and thy path will be clear.

We would perhaps debate the unqualified optimism of this hymn at some points. CH-2 promises: “Pray, and thy path will be clear.” It isn’t always that cut and dried. As we pray, and persist in prayer, the way ahead may well become clearer. But because He wants us to continue trusting in Him, the future is sometimes left uncertain, and we simply need to cling to the Lord day by day.

Another area where perseverance is necessary is in resisting satanic temptation.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (I Pet. 5:8-9).

Our service for Christ is another area that patience and “stick-to-it-iveness” is required, if we are to bear fruit for eternity.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (I Cor. 15:58).

CH-3) Never be sad or desponding,
There is a morrow for thee;
Soon thou shalt dwell in its brightness,
There with the Lord thou shalt be.

CH-4) Never be sad or desponding,
Lean on the arm of thy Lord;
Dwell in the depths of His mercy,
Thou shalt receive thy reward.

1) What is the remedy for those who are discouraged and tempted to give up?

2) Is there some discouraged servant of God whom you can help and encourage today?

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal


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