Leaning On The Everlasting Arms

God’s everlasting arms mean real-time peace and comfort for us. This classic hymn picks up on that idea. The lyrics were inspired by Deuteronomy 33:27a: “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms”. Please give the song a sing-along listen — then come back and we’ll think about what it means to find refuge in our Lord’s arms in times of fear and trial, allowing His joy and peace to replace our loneliness and anxiety.

Fear sells

Our song asks, “♫♪ What have I to dread, what have I to fear? ♫♪”.

THAT, dear friends, is THE sixty-four thousand dollar question. Where people have dread and fear, the large enterprises driven by the world’s values rush in to cash in. People use fear to sell products. Have you heard the saying “if it bleeds it leads”? That comes from the news industry and refers to how they decide what to print. They’ve made a fortune out of scouring the earth to find bad news to sell day after day. The worse the news, the bigger the headline. WOW!

Fear sells.
“Buy this car and you’ll be happy.”
“Buy this house and you’ll be admired.”
“Buy this exercise machine and you will be buff.”

And always, the implied message — the fear — is that if I do NOT buy, then I will get the exact opposite of what they promise. I will NOT be happy, I will NOT be admired. I will NOT be buff, etc. etc.

“What have I to dread, what have I to fear?” When our quest is to know and honor the Lord, we easily understand this to be a rhetorical question.

(NOTE: A rhetorical question is a question that requires no reply, either because the answer is obvious or because the asker already knows the answer. Rhetorical questions are generally used to draw a contrast, persuade the audience, make the listener think, or direct the reader’s attention to an important topic.)

It is perfectly clear that this song is NOT trying to sell us something through fear. We sing it and barely have time to grab a breath before the writer reminds us of the answer: WE don’t need to dread. WE don’t need to fear. WE are leaning on the everlasting arms. HALLELUJAH!

While we used to buy
What fear might demand
NOW we’re bought with a price
In CHRIST WE STAND

What a fellowship!

God promises and provides fellowship with Him and His dear Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 1 John reads: “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that you also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”

Jesus (in John 14) says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give it to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Help is always near. So is love. So is peace.

Fellowship. WHAT a fellowship!! Christ in YOU the hope of glory. The world can offer nothing even close to it. Jesus Christ is the pearl of great price. The price is way beyond what we could ever pay — but it has already been bought — paid in full — for you and for me. The Lord doesn’t try to get us to buy something through fear. The truth is that HE BOUGHT our deliverance and offers it freely to all who ask to receive it.

We rejoice this is true.
We are thankful someone told us.
We live in a desperate world that needs to know and receive such deliverance.
We can do something about THAT.

The pilgrim’s walk

“♫♪ O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way ♫♪” So we sing.

But some days — some seasons of life even — don’t seem as sweet as this song puts it. Just ask Jesus. Just ask Paul. Just ask Peter.

But be ready to hear their answer — their whole answer. Troubles will come and troubles will go. Jesus has already gone through worse trials than any of us ever will. Do you know what’s sweet? Jesus is ALIVE, still saving all who call on him — even after all he endured.

Paul describes the mindset that leads to such a sweet walk in Romans 8: “For I maintain that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is about to be revealed in us.”

Following Jesus does not guarantee there will be no trouble.
Following Jesus gives us help now and bright promise for a great ending that never ends.
Following Jesus brings “a peace in our hearts the world never gave.”

How is this pilgrim’s walk when we are leaning on the everlasting arms? Sweet!

God bless you lots!
-Dale R.


LYRICS: Leaning On The Everlasting Arms
Text: Elisha A. Hoffman, 1887
Tune: Anthony J. Showalter, 1887


What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Refrain:
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.

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.

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4 Replies to “Leaning On The Everlasting Arms”

  1. Julia M Witchard

    Good afternoon Mr Dale, …. LEANING ON THE EVERLASTING ARM, ..WHAT AN AMAZING STATEMENT THERE’S NO GREATER LOVE THAN WHAT OUR FATHER GOD ❤ HAS FOR US….And u didn’t stop there mr dale, u went on to say ….IF IT BLEEDS IT LEADS, …AND THAT IS TRULY WHAT OUR FATHER JESUS DID…HE TRULY SHED HIS BLOOD FOR US , SO THAT We Will Have life In “HIM, AND HAVE LIFE MORE ABUNDANTLY….WHO MORE HAVE SUFFERED MORE THAN OUR FATHER JESUS , if we maintain our life, serving OUR FATHER JESUS AND WALKING IN HIS FEET STEPS, NO NEED TO WORRY, BECAUSE HE HAS Us.. Your Sermons are Awesome Mr. Dale, please keep on Running For OUR FATHER JESUS, AND Your life will never be the same…BLESSINGS 🙏 UPON BLESSINGS 🙏 GOES OUT TO U AND YOUR FAMILY 👪…………ALWAYS..have a great 4th, u and your family 👪………..OUR FATHER JESUS LOVES 💘 U VERY 💓 MUCH…

    Reply
    1. Dale Reichel Post author

      Julia, Thanks for your note! Modern news services might not make much of Jesus, but that doesn’t stop the rest of us from gratefully enjoying LIFE! Let’s keep leaning on the everlasting arms! God bless you lots! -Dale R.

      Reply
    1. Dale Reichel Post author

      Dudley, thanks for your kind note. On your recommendation, I’ll keep the yellow-shirt guy around awhile longer. Who knows, he might one day amount to something! Until then, lean on! God bless you lots – Dale R.

      Reply

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