What Have I To Dread

clip_image001_007What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.

O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
O how bright the path grows from day to day,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.

Words by Elisha A. Hoffman, 1887
Music by Anthony J. Showalter, 1887

 


The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you.
Deuteronomy 33:27

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23:4

The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.
Psalm 29:11

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. . . For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
Isaiah 41:10, 13

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6

We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
John 4:16 – 18


 

One of the things that I remember from growing up may seem a little strange and silly to a lot of people. At the top of the stairs in our house there was a cabinet that kept some of the nice dishes and other items. On the top shelf there was a cookie jar. It was shaped like a cow with a kitten sitting on its back. Now for some unknown reason, I not only did not like the jar, but I refused to go past the cabinet if I could see the cow. This was a problem, especially considering the fact that I had to pass the cabinet to get to my bedroom.

Well my older sister and brother came up with an interesting solution. They went up there with a couple of toy guns and “eliminated” my fear. Now the jar was still there, but for some reason I had a little less problem going by it, though sometimes, I may have been moving quickly.

Seems strange, but we all have fears. Most of them are irrational fears,or phobias. Fear of spiders, Fear of heights, Fear of crowds, Fear of cow shaped cookie jars. Sometimes these fears make us unable to move, sometimes we find strength from facing them.

Now not all fears are irrational. For instance, a fear of walking down a dark alley is actually a reasonable. It is a reminder that we need use common sense precautions in life. But in these cases, just like in the irrational ones, we need to find the strength to move past them.

In the hymn “Leaning On The Everlasting Arms” we read, “What have I to dread, what have I to fear?” It speaks with such confidence. But what is the source of this confidence to face fears. In Deuteronomy 31:6 we find the answer. It reads, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

This same message is repeated in Isaiah 41:10 where God says, “do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” and in verse 13 he continues, “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”

God is the answer. He is the source of the strength to face our fears. He has promised that he will always be with us and will never leave us.

This strength is made available to each of us through His Son, Jesus Christ. John 4:17 – 18 tells us, “And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” The love of God that dwells in us, through our faith in Jesus Christ, will drive the fear away.

Yes there are still genuine dangers we need to be aware of in life, but it is not fear that should rule our response. When we realize that God holds our hand in His, then we sing the words, “ Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms”

 

 

Read more about “Leaning On The Everlasting Arms.”

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