Words and Music by Arthur A. Luther, 1891–1960
Jesus never fails,
Jesus never fails.
Heav’n and earth may pass away,
But Jesus never fails.
Though the sky be dark and drear,
Fierce and strong the gale,
Just remember, He is near
And He will not fail.
In life’s dark and bitter hour
Love will still prevail;
Trust His everlasting pow’r
Jesus will not fail.
There have been people that told me that they would be there for me when I needed them. I have found that everyone that made that promise was not sincere. When troubles come, you will discover who your real friends are. Many you think are friends will be long gone if trouble shows up. I need a friend that will come at the time that I need him most. No matter how hard we may try to be that kind of friend, we have limitations. We have our own fears, and lack of funds, and weaknesses. We cannot always be there for the people we love the most. The good news is that there is One that will be there, and Who has all we will ever need.
“Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in Thee: and let such as love Thy salvation say continually, ‘Let God be magnified.’ But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: Thou art my help and my deliverer; O LORD, make no tarrying” (Psalm 70:4-5).
This verse is so true! I am poor … I am needy … I need the help of my God Who has no limitations. When was the last time you tried to do something for God that was out of your reach? When was the last time you stepped out by faith and attempted to do something that you could not do on your own? When was the last time that God touched your heart to do something that you thought was impossible, but you acted anyway?
J. Bruce Evans once wrote – Just when my hopes have vanished, just when my friends forsake, Just when the fight is thickest, just when with fear I shake, Then comes a still small whisper, “Fear not my child, I’m near!” Jesus beings peace and comfort; I love His voice to hear.
The Bible teaches that some of life’s richest lessons are learned only in the valley of tears. The psalmist declared: “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees” (Psalm 119:71). Difficult times should be the steppingstones in our spiritual growth and usefulness. This was the case with the author and composer of “Jesus Never Fails.” Arthur Luther, pastor and musician, relates the following story regarding the writing of his hymn:
So many requests have come in for the story of this song that I am preparing it in this form so that any who may be interested may have it. During the last twenty years this simple song has literally gone round the world on its Mission and stories still come in telling of its blessing and helpfulness.
As a school boy Christian I had a burning desire to be a foreign missionary. That was not to be. Later I had an urgent desire to write a song that everyone would sing. I tried a popular song but it was a dismal failure; yet, God, in His own time and way, granted my wish and “Jesus Never Fails” has reached to the uttermost of mission fields and the multitudes have sung it. The song was written at Somerset, Kentucky, while I was there with the Dr. O. E. Williams Evangelistic Party. I received some very disturbing news from my family some 600 miles away. Worried and homesick, I sat down at the old square piano in the “Old Kentucky Home” where we were staying and as my fingers wandered idly, a simple melody developed beneath them which seemed to sing, “Jesus Never Fails.” Then and there the words and music of the chorus were born. I accepted this as the answer to my heart’s prayer and I thank Him that it proved true. Reassuring news came from home. He did not fail me …
Scores of testimonies have since come from missionaries, evangelists, and others of the blessing that this simple three-word message has been to them. It has been translated into ten European languages and into Chinese … “Jesus Never Fails” has become a sort of musical slogan of Bible-believing Christians everywhere. Men sang it at the battlefront as they girded themselves for the fray. On the homefront, saints sing it as they do battle with the forces of sin, in true confidence that the Captain of their salvation fails not. I surely have every reason to praise God for this song that He gave me in the hour of my need and which has gone on to bless the entire world with its message of triumph …
Some have asked why I wrote “May pass away” instead of “Shall pass away”. The thought is to bring the truth of the song into the present tense. Let Heaven and Earth pass away at this moment if it be His Will. He fails not and the future is secure. Let come what may, He is with us NOW! “Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed ….”
Yours in His Precious Name,
North Collins, New York
September 1, 1947
What a great testimony from the author himself! Yes, earthly friends may prove untrue, doubts and fears assail; One still loves and cares for you, one who will not fail. Though the sky be dark and dreary, fierce and strong the gale, just remember He is near, and He will not fail.
The telegram mentioned was of his son’s illness and being rushed to a hospital. There was nothing he could do; no way possible to even get to his son. After praying about it, he went to the piano, sat down, and this thought came to him—“Jesus Never Fails,” and then, “Heaven and earth may pass away,” and so on until the song was completed.” He then wrote:
When I finished, a peace had settled over my anxious heart. I knew the God who never fails would find the answer and He did, for just then there was a knock at the door and someone came with the news—word had just been received over the telegraph wire that my son had passed the crisis and all was well!
It is helpful to remember when we want to do something for God, that he oftentimes waits till we are at the end of ourselves, living in patience; then His purpose is accomplished, often in the midst of tragedy and despair. That is a true reward of patience.
Couple of comments about the Lyrics
Verse 1: Earthly friends may prove untrue, doubts and fears assail; One still loves and cares for you, One Who will not fail.
Verse 2: Tho the sky be dark and drear, fierce and strong the gale, just remember He is near, and He will not fail.
Verse 3: In life’s dark and bitter hour love will still prevail; trust His everlasting pow’r – Jesus will not fail.
Chorus: Jesus never fails, Jesus never fails; Heav’n and earth may pass away, but Jesus never fails.
I agree with the writer of Psalm 70:4-5. If we are ever going to see anything good come from our lives it will be because we trusted completely in our God! Today I want to do everything I can to magnify God in the things I do; in the places I go; in the actions I show; and in the words I use. I want to do all I can to make God look big, and me look small. I will depend upon Jesus, Who never fails, and not on the friends that I mentioned earlier that seem to disappear when trouble comes.
I want to encourage each one reading this today to determine that you will do all you can to magnify (make large) God in the places you will go today. Each of us is going in a different direction today. Each of us will meet someone the others will not meet. Let’s lift our God high today so that all who cross our path will know He is alive and well!
In life’s dark and bitter hour love will still prevail. Trust His everlasting power—Jesus will not fail. Heaven and earth may pass away, but Jesus never fails. Yes we can face life confidently with the awareness that the victorious Lord is at your side. He will never fail! Carry this musical truth with you.