Tag Archives: strength

I’ll Fly Away

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Some glad morning when this life is o’er,
I’ll fly away;
To a home on God’s celestial shore,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).
I’ll fly away, Oh Glory
I’ll fly away; (in the morning)
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).

When the shadows of this life have gone,
I’ll fly away;
Like a bird from prison bars has flown,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away)
I’ll fly away, Oh Glory
I’ll fly away; (in the morning)
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).

Just a few more weary days and then,
I’ll fly away;
To a land where joy shall never end,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away)
I’ll fly away, Oh Glory
I’ll fly away; (in the morning)
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).

Words and Music by Albert E. Brumley, 1929

 


I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.
Psalm 55:6

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16 – 17

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as also I have been fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ
Colossians 2:16- 17

Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
Psalm 90:10

So with you: Now is your time of grief but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
John 16:22


 

Children all over have found themselves in the same place every year. Waiting for Christmas. Waiting for the excitement and joy that will come with Christmas morning and the gifts that will be found under the tree.

But it is not as simple as waiting for the excitement of that morning, because these same children have been told that “he knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake,” Santa Claus can see their behavior and it will have a direct impact on what they receive for Christmas.

So we find children behaving well and getting along with their siblings. We see them doing extra chores and helping out at home. In short, they are facing the the work of today, hoping for the joy to come on Christmas morning.

This is the theme behind, “I’ll Fly Away.” Brumley writes, “One glad morning, when this life is o’er, I’ll fly away.” Just like the child waiting for Christmas has an end goal in sight, so we who have put our faith in Jesus Christ can can face the struggles of today knowing that there is an end target. This is not simply an escapist dream as some have proposed, but rather a reminder that whatever comes our way, it is temporary, giving us the strength to face it.

In 2 Corinthians 4:16 – 17, Paul tells us, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” The fact is we all face troubles in our lives that are more than we can handle on our own, but our focus is not on them but the promises of God. Our hope of the end day, however does not have us living simply in the future, but giving us the strength to live today.

But even when everything seems to be going right it is a dim reflection of what is to be. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:12 that “for we see now in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. . .” No. we look not at the shadows that darken our vision, but forward to the day “when the shadows of this life have gone.” Because Paul tells us that “These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” (Colossians 2:16- 17)

No, we do not look at hide away living in the future that has not yet come. Rather, we live today with the strength we find in what is to come. It is because of this that we can sing, “Just a few more weary days and then, I’ll fly away; To a land where joy shall never end, I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).”

 

 

Read more about “I’ll Fly Away.”

Just A Closer Walk With Thee

I am weak, but Thou art strong;
Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.
Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

Through this world of toil and snares,
If I falter, Lord, who cares?
Who with me my burden shares?
None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.
Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

When my feeble life is o’er,
Time for me will be no more;
Guide me gently, safely o’er
To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore.
Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

Words and Music Unknown, Unknown Date

 

The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
Psalm 145:18

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
James 4:8

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.
Isaiah 41:10

 

Having raised three children, one of the things that became clear early on is that children like to be able to do things themselves. Something like zipping up your child’s coat. You have done it since they were born, but the inevitable day comes when thy say, “I do it myself.”

As adult’s we really don’t change. We like to do things ourselves. And even when we struggle, the last thing we want to do is admit that we need help. But the fact is that we do need help sometimes, in fact we need help quite often.

This is the message behind “Just A Closer Walk With Thee.” The author starts with that statement that is so hard for us to admit, “I am weak.” This flies in the face of who we are. Not only is it ingrained in us from birth, but society has reinforced in us the idea that weakness is a bad thing, that we always need to give the appearance of strength.

But the fact is that we are indeed weak. As much as we may want to do everything ourselves, we can’t. We need help. So where do we turn? We may turn to family or friends, and this is not a bad thing. Family and true friends should always be willing to give that helping hand, even if it is simply to bounce our thoughts off of. But as helpful as they are, they too are limited in what they can do.

So where do we turn? When we look back at children we find the answer. You see, that child who strongly protest, “I do it myself.” will also be the child who becomes fearful and panicked when they lose sight of their parent. You see, as much as they want to do things themselves, it is their parents that they make them feel safe.

This is where we turn, to our Father in heaven The hymn goes on to say, “but thou art strong.” God is our strength. In Isaiah 41:10 God tells us, “I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” This is why Paul writes in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

It is God alone who can give us the strength we need to make it through each day. The author declares in the second verse, “Through this world of toil and snares,
If I falter, Lord, who cares? Who with me my burden shares?” He answers his own question with, “None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.”

It is by keeping ourselves near to God, that we find this strength. Psalm 145:18 tells us, “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” And James tells us in chapter 4 verse 8, to “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

Our strength comes from God, and comes by walking close to Him. So, I make the chorus of this hymn my prayer, “Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.”

 

 

Read more about “Just A Closer Walk With Thee.”

Every Day, The Lord Himself Is Near Me

Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find, to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best—
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Every day, the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He whose name is Counselor and Power;
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then, in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.

Written by Karolina Sandell-Berg, 1865
Music by Oskar Ahnfelt, 1872

 

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:33 – 34

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.
Psalm 68:19

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
2 Corinthians 4:16 – 17

I have had those moments when I wake up in the middle of the night, and it seems my mind kicks into overdrive. I begin thinking about all the things I have to do. I begin to think how am I going to get all of these things done. And I know I am not alone.

It seems all of us find ourselves caught up in worrying about what is to come. Whether it is everything we have to do, how we are going to make ends meet, or concern about friends and family. In each of these the worry about the problems seem to begin to dominate our lives. But the worry gets us no where.

Jesus told us in Matthew 6:34, to “not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Now I am certainly not one to start spouting platitudes like, “let go, let God.” Honestly, these drive me up a wall.  I remember, a few years ago, when I was laid off that this is the kind of thing I would hear from people.  Now, their intentions were good enough but frankly, it was the last thing I wanted to hear.

In my mind I knew that God was there and would take care of me, but I certain did not want people who appeared to have it all together telling me how things weren’t so bad.  

But, after some serious prayer and thought I came to a realization.  What I found was that it was not a case of letting go of the problem, it’s a case of holding onto God. I learned that first and foremost, it was a matter of turning things over to God. You see, It was placing my trust in God first that allowed me to move beyond the stress and anxiety of my situation. When I moved beyond this, it was then that I learned to let go. This is the message of “Day by Day.”

The fact is that we will face worry and stress. We will face troubles that will come our way. But God is there for us. He knows what we need and waits only for us to turn to Him, that we might find the peace that is only available through Him.

So I find truth and solace in the words of Karolina  Sandell-Berg when she writes, “Every day, the Lord Himself is near me with a special mercy for each hour.”

Read more about “Day by Day.”

Prone to Wander, Lord I Feel It

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Written by Robert Robinson, 1758
Music by John Wyeth, 1813

 

Of the many hymns I have known and sung over the years, this is one that routinely comes to mind. I will often find myself singing these words, sometimes without even knowing it.

But as I sing these words, it is the third stanza that makes me stop and think.

“O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.”

I have been a christian for as long a I can remember. I was raised in a Christian home. I attended church regularly. I accepted Christ as my personal savior when I was very young. I studied youth ministry in college and earned a Masters of Divinity degree. But that is in the past and means little to nothing when it comes to living my life now on a daily basis.

You see, when I rest in these events of the past, when I trust in my own strength I find myself doing exactly this. I find myself “prone to leave the God I love.” As Paul writes in Romans 7:19 “I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” I am a Christian, how can this be the case?

I remember a few years ago when I was thinking about the phrase “there, but for the grace of God, go I” that it suddenly hit me what that meant. I, like all of us, am a sinful being and my nature is to seek after that. To seek those things that simply serve me, to seek after my own pleasure, and to not care about anyone else. Yes, left to my own devices, I fear to think where I would be.

But thanks be to God that I do not have to face this alone. For I can find strength in the words of Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” It is in Christ that I can find the strength to stand firm. It is because of this that I find the deepest meaning in the first part of this stanza:

“O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.”

My debt is to Christ and the grace of God. And , O how great a debt. A debt, I can not repay, but a debt I freely owe. It is not a debt that God lords over me. Rather, it is a debt he gives in love and so, it is this love that binds me to Him. It is because of this that I joyfully declare the last phrase of this stanza, “Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.”

So, “here I raise my ebenezer” (helper stone). A reference to a monument that stands as a reminder to God’s help. (I Samuel 7:12). And I stand fixed on the “mount of God’s redeeming love.”

You can read the full text of Robert Robinson’s poem by clicking “Come Thou Fount.”