Hymn Authors: Gloria Gaither, 1942-
William J. Gathier, 1936-
Hymn Composer: William J. Gaither, 1936-
BECAUSE HE LIVES
God sent his son,
They called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal and forgive,
He bled and died to buy my pardon
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.
Chorus – Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know, I know, He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He 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 vict’ry,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives.
Researching the stories behind hymns of our Christian faith has been a particular joy to me. Knowing what was in the minds of the songwriters just seems to make the lyrics come alive. I have written histories of many hymn writers, but of late I have been looking at the lives of some of the modern hymn writers still living. As I have been researching, I have been fascinated by another great song of praise—“Because He Lives” by Bill and Gloria Gaither. The Gaithers are famous for many of our most popular contemporary gospel songs—“There’s Something About that Name”, “Let’s Just Praise the Lord”, “It is Finished”, “He Touched Me”, “The King is Coming”, “Something Beautiful”, and many, many more. For most of their collaborations Gloria writes the lyrics and Bill writes the music. . . . and between them they have published some 600 titles since their marriage in 1962.
Bill and Gloria Gaither have written hundreds of beautiful Gospel songs over the years. Many churches today still sing their songs. Both were former English teachers before they started singing and writing songs full time. Today, they travel all over the world performing concerts with their homecoming friends. Their music is truly inspirational and has touched many hearts over the years. Their songs will never die out.
The story behind “Because He Lives” resonates with many families in a way during these turbulent times we live in. Here in the words of the couple the story behind the song we love. We wrote “Because He Lives” after a period of time when we had had a kind of dry spell and hadn’t written any songs for a while… Also at the end of the 1960’s when our country was going through some great turmoil with the height of the drug culture and the whole “God Is Dead” theory which was running wild in our country and also at the peak of the Vietnam War, our little son was born,-Benjy- at least Gloria was expecting him. And I can remember at the time we thought, “Brother, this is really a poor time to bring a child into the world.” At times we were even quite discouraged by the whole thing. And then Benjy did come. We had two little girls whom we love very much, but this was our first son, and so that lyric came to us, “How sweet to hold our new-born baby and feel the pride and joy he gives, but better still the calm assurance that this child can face uncertain days because Christ lives.” And it gave us the courage to say “Because Christ lives we can face tomorrow” and keep our heads high and hopefully that could be of meaning to other people. It’s rather interesting now that, although we don’t consider ourselves as “old” writers, we’ve had many people tell us they have used that song at a funeral of a loved one; and it has been very encouraging to them, at a time when they were very discouraged. So evidently a lot of people have shared the same kind of experience of being discouraged.
Two years ago, our last born Nomsa was born. This birth was so unlike any other we had experienced. Everything was going on well till caesarean section was done. The baby came out with jaundice; the mother bled and needed transfusion. The world just turned round. Thank God He knows all about tomorrow. Both mother and child survived and are very health today. Nomsa can face uncertain days because Christ lives. Our whole family is joyous because of the hope and excitement with this little one. We praise God, Who has known this child from before she was born, and Who loves her and has a plan for her life—as He does all of us.
If you are going through difficulties or problems in your life, let this song be a comfort to you as it has been to me and so many people. This song was written over 40 years ago and the world has gotten a lot worse since then. I can truly say that Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.