Jesus Never Fails

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Audio excerpt: Second chorus into bridge

Lyrics & notes

23 Sep 1975

Jesus never fails
Jesus never fails
I've got a friend who won't
ever forsake me
Jesus never fails

He gives me songs in the night
when the sleep won't come
He holds me tight
when all my other friends are sleeping
He hears me when I'm weeping
with lullabies so sweet
with love He bids my sorrows cease
with hands that knew the pain of nails
He wipes the tears away

℗ © Love's Music 1979, assigned to Creative Measures (ASCAP)

1979 Notes:

If I had to leave with the world only one song, I would probably choose this one. In all my life I have never known three truer words: Jesus never fails.

Everything in my life changes. Dreams and disappointments change place so fast it leaves me bewildered and grasping at straws. But through all the inconstancy and instability there's one thing that remains eternally unchanged: the deep, deep love and faithfulness of God in Christ Jesus.

I have chosen to follow Him. He will never fail me or forsake me.

2007 Notes:

My sister, Doreen, read a devotional passage based on Joshua 1:1–9 to my Dad not long before he died. Joshua 1:9 goes something like this: "Be strong and courageous. Don't tremble or be afraid, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. He will never fail you or forsake you." (I know, that last bit isn't from Joshua, it's from Hebrews, but I've gotten into the habit of quoting those verses together. I used to introduce this song by quoting those two verses together every time I performed it in concert.)

Anyway, Doreen thought Dad was sleeping while she was reading all this, but as soon as she finished, he squeezed her hand and said, “I have to have courage to make it through all this, don’t I? God is beside me now to help me, right? Can we pray now?” When Doreen stood up to take his other hand, he pulled her close in one of the tightest hugs she ever remembers, and he prayed. You would think he would have prayed for himself, for relief from the pain and the cancer that was gripping his body tighter each day, but he didn't. He thanked God for all his blessings, for us kids, for bringing us to Florida safely, and for the time we'd had to visit him, and for Mom. Then he said, “Goodbye God, talk to you tomorrow.”

The way you can depend on your parents, you can depend on God. But much more so. You can't even depend on your parents not to leave you. Not your brothers and sisters, not your doggies, not your friends. Not your spouse. Nobody can ever say to another, "I will never leave you." No one except God. How amazingly blessed we are that the one and only Person who can say that to us does.

The hymn writer put it this way: "The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose, I'll never, no never desert to its foes. That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, I'll never, no never, no never forsake." ("How Firm a Foundation," lyrics by John Rippon, 1787)