Today, millions of people love southern gospel music, and a big reason is the popularity of the Bill and Gloria Gaither Homecoming concerts and videos. For more than 40 years, the Gaithers have been writing and performing Christian songs. “He Touched Me,” “There’s Something About That Name,” and some 600 others are featured in many church hymnals. But “Because He Lives” is perhaps the best known song.
In the late 1960s, while expecting their third child, the Gaithers were going through a traumatic time. Their firstborn, Suzanne, was 4, and her sister Amy was three months old. The timing for another baby wasn’t ideal. On top of that, Bill was recovering from a bout of mononucleosis. The breakup of the marriage of Bill’s sister, Mary Ann, had left his family devastated.
What’s more, a close friend’s accusation that Bill and Gloria were using their ministry just to make a buck blindsided the couple and plunged Bill into a deep depression.
Gloria also remembers it as a time of fear and sadness. The educational system was being infiltrated with the “God is dead” idea, while drug abuse and racial tension were increasing. The thought of bringing another child into the world was taking its toll.
But after a simple prayer by one of Bill’s close friends — a prayer that commanded the devil to back off — both Bill and Gloria recall that the strength of the Holy Spirit seemed to come to their aid. Christ’s resurrection, in all its power, was reaffirmed in their hearts. They were assured that the future, left in God’s hands, would be just fine.
In July 1970 a healthy baby, Benjamin, was born. Inspired by the miracle of their son’s birth, “Because He Lives” poured out of the Gaithers’ grateful hearts. The song clearly affirms the hope believers have in Christ. We can face tomorrow, with all its uncertainty, as we realize that God holds the future and makes life worth living.
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!
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, All fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives!
God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal, and forgive.
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Saviour lives.
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just 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 victory,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives.