Some Best Loved Christian Music: "Because He Lives"

"...Because I live, you will live also.” (John 14:19)

Researching the stories behind the Christian hymns of our faith for this month’s blogs has been a particular joy for me.  Learning about the experiences that others came through that brought them to a closer walk with God is very uplifting.  It is amazing how the Lord inspired them to put their experiences into musical form to inspire and encourage so many.  The one that lifts me more than any other when I feel depressed, discouraged, or pondering some unwanted news is “Because He Lives,” by Bill and Gloria Gaither.  The life experience of how this inspiring song came to be is best expressed by Gloria herself.

“I am a wife and a mother.  It was in the middle of the upheaval in the sixties that we were expecting our third baby.  The drug culture was in full swing, existential thought had obviously saturated every area of our American thought, the cities were seething with racial tension, and the God-is-dead pronouncement had giggled its way all through our educational system.

On the personal front, Bill and I were going through one of the most difficult times in our lives.  Bill had been discouraged and physically exhausted by a bout with mononucleosis, and in that weakened condition had little reserve to fight the psychological battle brought on by some external family problems.  Someone whom we had cared about a great deal had hurled some accusations at us and at the Fellowship of Believers and at the whole idea of the existence of God.

It was on New Year’s Eve that I sat alone in the darkness and quiet of our living room, thinking about theworld and our country and Bill’s discouragement and the family problems—and about our baby yet unborn.  Who in their right mind would bring a child into a world like this?  I thought, The world is so evil.  Influences beyond our control are so strong.  What will happen to this child?

I can’t quite explain what happened at that moment, but suddenly I felt release from it all.  The panic that had begun to build inside was gently dispelled by a reassuring presence that engulfed my life and drew my attention.

Gradually, the fear left and the joy began to return.  I knew I could have that baby and face the future with optimism and trust.  It was the Resurrection affirming itself in our lives once again.  It was LIFE conquering death in the regularity of my day.”
— Gloria Gaither

 

This song Because He Lives came out of their personal experience during a dark discouraging time for them.  Tomorrow with all the uncertainty that it brings still has a sense of assurance that only Christ Jesus gives.  God holds the future and makes life worth living for all who trust in Him.

God sent His Son, they called Him Jesus,
He came to love, heal, and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove, my Savior lives.

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride, and joy He gives;
But greater still, the calm assurance,
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.

And then one day I’ll cross the river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain; 
And then as death gives way to victory,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives.

Chorus:
Because He lives I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives all fear is gone; 
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.