Keep On Believing

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When you feel weakest, dangers surround,
Subtle temptations, troubles abound,
Nothing seems hopeful, nothing seems glad,
All is despairing, everything sad:

Keep on believing, Jesus is near;
Keep on believing, there’s nothing to fear;
Keep on believing, this is the way;
Faith in the night as well as the day.

If all were easy, if all were bright,
Where would the cross be, and where the fight?
But in the hardness, God gives to you
Chances of proving that you are true.

God is your wisdom, God is your might;
God’s ever near you, guiding aright;
He understands you, knows all you need;
Trusting in Him you’ll surely succeed.

Let us press on then, never despair;
Live above feeling, victory’s there;
Jesus can keep us so near to Him
That nevermore our faith shall grow dim.

This old song is rarely sung in Salvation Army services today, yet it was included in the 2015 edition of the Song Book. It certainly speaks uplifting words to us when we need them. Many of us have experienced times when we felt overwhelmed by our circumstances and had difficulty being hopeful about the days ahead. The lyrics of this song may be more easily said or sung than “done”, but they do provide encouragement if we take them to heart. They were written by Lucy Milward Booth-Hellberg, who was the eighth and youngest child of William and Catherine Booth, the founders of The Salvation Army. Being widowed at the age of forty-one, with four children to care for and heavy ministry duties, would certainly have given her reason to feel discouraged at times!

Many of us have experienced times when we felt overwhelmed by our circumstances Click To Tweet

Lucy Milward Booth-HellbergLucy was born in 1868, and when she was only sixteen years old, she went to India to help continue the work of the Salvation Army there. In 1894, Lucy married Colonel Emanuel Daniel Hellberg, a Swedish officer. They had five children, but one boy, Daniel, died as an infant. The Colonels Hellberg returned to work in India as Territorial Commanders, taking on the names “Rahani” and “Raj-Singh”. They were later appointed in charge of the Army’s work in France and Switzerland. In 1909, Emanuel Hellberg died, but Lucy went on to serve as Territorial Commander in Denmark, Norway and South America, before retiring in 1934. In 1933 she was admitted to The Salvation Army’s most prestigious award, the Order of the Founder, “for long and exceptional service under peculiarly difficult circumstances, together with her readiness at all times to answer the call of duty.” She died in Stockholm in 1953, at the age of 85.

The lyrics of this song may be more easily said or sung than “done” Click To Tweet
WORDS AND MUSIC: LUCY MILWARD BOOTH-HELLBERG
S.A. SONG BOOK, 2015 EDITION, #691; 1987 EDITION, #773
REFERENCES: COLLIER, RICHARD, THE GENERAL NEXT TO GOD; WIKIPEDIA

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