Wayne S. Walker

“…And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.  Amen.”
(Matt. 26.28)

     INTRO.:  A hymn, based on the language of this statement of Jesus,
which reminds us that He has promised that He will be with us always is
“Always With Us.”  The text was written by Edwin H. Nevin (b. 1814).
Samuel Duffield in his “English Hymns: Their Authors and History” (1888)
said that Nevin was a native of Shippensburg, PA; graduated from
Jefferson College in 1833 and Princeton Seminary in 1837; served as
President of Franklin College for three years; then was minister with the
First Presbyterian Church at Mt. Vernon, OH, the Plymouth Congregational
Church in Cleveland, OH, in Massachussets, and finally with the First
Reformed Church in Philadelphia, PA, where he retired and was still
living when the book was written.  Nevin reported that the hymn was
written in 1857.

     The tune (Carter) was composed by Edmund S. Carter (b. 1845).
Robert Guy McCutchan in his ‘Hymn Tune Names: Their Sources and
Significance” (1958) wrote that this tune is also called Ascham, Wreford,
Day by Day, and Slingsby.  It was composed in 1865 for John Ellerton’s “A
Morning Hymn for Children,” which begins, “Day by day we magnify Thee,”
at Slingsby in East Yorkshire, England.  The only hymnbooks, whether
published by brethren or published by anyone else, that I have ever
personally seen this hymn in are the 1948 “Christian Hymns No. 2” (#441)
and the 1966 “Christian Hymns No. 3” (#441) both edited by Lloyd Otis
Sanderson and published by the Gospel Advocate Co., where the text is
erroneously attributed to Carter.

     The song emphasizes the importance of Jesus’ promise to be with us

I. According to stanza 1, He promises to be with us at all times
“Always with us, always with us–Words of cheer and words of love;
Thus the risen Savior whispers, From His dwelling place above.”
 A. These words of Jesus, recorded in His word, are words of good cheer:
Matt. 9.2, 14.27; Jn. 16.33
 B. Such words have meaning to us because Jesus is not just a dead hero
but the risen Savior: Rom. 1.3-4, 2 Tim. 2.8
 C. Thus, we can be assured that He will be with us because He at the
throne of God in His dwelling place above: Acts 7.55-56, Heb. 1.1-3

II. According to stanza 2, He promises to be with us in times of toil and
   “With us when we toil in sadness, Sowing much and reaping none,
Telling us that in the future Golden harvests shall be won.”
 A. Often in this life we toil in sadness and tears because we sow so
much and seem to reap so little: Psa. 126.5-6
 B. However, Jesus wants us to remember that like the farmer who sows
plants in hope, so we should look to the future and not grow weary in
well doing: 1 Cor. 9.10, Gal. 6.9
 C. Thus, we can be assured that the planting and watering that we do,
even though we may not see the results, will accomplish good as God gives
the increase, so that we remember that our labor is not in vain: 1 Cor.
3.6-8, 15.58

III. According to Stanza 3, He promises to be with us in times of storm
and darkness
“With us when the storm is sweeping O’er our pathway dark and drear,
Waking hope within our bosoms, Stilling every anxious fear.”
 A. The Bible often uses the idea of a storm or tempest as a figure of
the trials and tribulations of life that we face: Psa. 55.1-8, 107.23-32
 B. But even when things seem the most dark and drear, just as His words
stilled the tempests on Galilee, the words of Jesus wake hope within our
bosoms: Matt. 8.23-27, Heb. 6.17-20
 C. Thus, we can look to Him to help still every anxious fear: Phil.

IV. According to stanza 4, He promises to be with us in times of
loneliness and death
“With us in the lonely valley, When we cross the chilling stream–
Lighting up the steps to glory With salvation’s radiant beam.”
 A. When we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, it will be a
lonely valley because each one will walk by himself so far as human
comradship is concerned: Psa. 23.4, Heb. 9.27
 B. But the Christian will not be completely alone, because Jesus Christ,
who has gone through that valley before us, has destroyed Him who has the
power of death and releases us from the fear of death: Heb. 2.9, 14-15
 C. Thus, He will light up the steps of glory with the radiant beam of
the salvation that is ready to be revealed at the last time, shining upon
our inheritance: 1 Pet. 1.3-5

     CONCL.:  Obviously, as time passes by, hymns which were meaningful
and hence beloved in one generation are all but forgotten by succeeding
generations and replaced by other hymns.  A few survive because they seem
to speak a universal message that makes them popular through the ages.
However, others which seem no longer remembered still deserve to be
available and used because they remind us of truth that we need.  And
certainly we need to be reminded that Jesus has promised to be “Always
With Us.”

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