I Need Thee, Oh I Need Thee :: By Nathele Graham

The songs we sing reflect our heart. Lately my heart has been filled with my need for my Lord, and this song has been running through my mind. Events reported in the news can bring a sense of dread to our hearts. There are so many violent acts, war, hatred, and much more that it’s easy to be afraid and worried. When things get dark, we need to draw close to Jesus. He is the Light of the world, and we need that Light. We need Him every hour of every day.

I need Thee every hour,

Most gracious Lord;

No tender voice like Thine

Can peace afford.

I think of Mary Magdalene. She had been a follower of Christ ever since He drove seven demons out of her (Luke 8:2, Mark 16:9). She felt safe when near Him and followed Him faithfully. She stood at the cross when He was crucified. The pain of watching Him die was heart-wrenching. As soon as possible on the first day of the week, she went to the tomb and found it empty. Her grief was great and her tears wouldn’t stop flowing.

Most of us have felt the utter grief that comes from the death of a loved one and can understand Mary’s grief over the loss of the friend who had changed her life. When she saw the tomb empty, she could only think that the body of Jesus had been stolen. As she wept, a man approached, and she thought he was the gardener. He asked why she was crying. There was no reason for her to think this man was Jesus. She had seen Him crucified and placed in a tomb. Through her tears she answered,

“…Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master” (John 20:15b-16).

His tender voice cut through her grief. Her grief gave way to joy when she heard His voice. Whenever I read this passage, I can feel the tenderness in His voice as He spoke her name. She needed Him and He was there. How I long to hear Him speak my name. He brings perfect peace.

I need Thee every hour,

Stay Thou nearby.

Temptations lose their power

When Thou art nigh.

When you least expect it, temptation crosses your path. When you came to Jesus for salvation, you repented of your sin and turned away from it. You recognized that you are a sinner and changed your mind about continuing in sin. Then it happens. Satan whispers in your ear, trying to draw you back into sin. It becomes hard to resist. You know your sin has been forgiven, but the temptation tugs at you and tries to draw you away from Jesus. That’s why we always need to stay close to Him.

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” (James 1:12).

It’s not easy to turn away from temptation, but prayer and Bible study will keep you strong. Our best defense against falling back into the sin that separated us from God is to draw closer to Jesus.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” (James 4:7-8).

When you submit to Jesus, you give yourself over to Him. The more you resist temptation, the less hold it has upon you. Temptation loses its power when we stay close to Jesus.

I need Thee every hour,

In joy or pain,

Come quickly and abide,

Or life is vain.

Too often we think that when we come to Jesus our life will suddenly be easy. That would be nice, but it just doesn’t work that way. No matter what comes our way, we need to turn to Jesus for strength.

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall to unto me” (Hebrews 13:5-6).

The word “conversation” comes from a Greek word “tropos” which means the way you conduct your life. The trials we face help us to grow into steadfast Christians. We can always look to Scripture to see that those who had the strongest faith underwent the toughest trials. Paul suffered much physical trouble, but he also had friends turn away from him. Things haven’t changed over the centuries, and his letters encourage us in our walk.

“Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:11-13).

Our need for Jesus seems greater when things go wrong, but don’t take Him for granted when things run smoothly. Whether there’s joy in your life or pain, He will never leave you.

I need Thee every hour

Teach me Thy will;

And Thy rich promises

In me fulfill.

We aren’t born knowing how to submit to His will and serve Him, but as we apply Scripture to our lives, we learn His way.

“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).

Peter went through many learning experiences before he finally submitted to Christ and learned to willingly serve Him. Peter had followed Jesus for three years and witnessed many miracles which Jesus had done. It was Peter who had sworn to defend Christ even if it meant his own death. When his boasting words were tested, Peter denied knowing Christ. Are we any different? We determine to follow Christ until a friend challenges our faith.

After the Resurrection, Jesus led Peter to repentance and restoration. Peter learned the lessons well. Because he was willing to lay aside his pride and was broken over his denial, Jesus was able to use him in a great way. Peter boldly spoke to crowds of non-believers, and many of them came to salvation. Jesus taught Peter that even Gentiles are worthy of salvation. Peter was sent to share the Gospel with Cornelius, a Roman centurion, who became a believer (Acts chapter 10). Most of us can relate to Peter and see his failures in us. Peter was flawed, but his faith was unshakable. He served Jesus and was eventually crucified for his faith. He truly understood the promise of eternal life.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Allow Jesus to teach you, and rest in His promise of eternal life.

I need Thee every hour,

Most Holy One.

Oh, make me Thine indeed,

Thou blessed Son.

Jesus Christ is the most Holy One. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-3).

Jesus is the Word…Jesus is God. His love for us is perfect. He willingly set aside His deity to walk among sinners and gave us the only way to salvation. He shed His own blood as the only sacrifice to take our sin away. Salvation is a free gift, but it has to be accepted.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13).

If you accept His sacrifice, then you are a son of God. Walk in His ways, not in the ways of the world.

I need Thee, oh, I need Thee;

Every hour I need Thee;

Oh, bless me now, my Saviour

I come to Thee.

Oh, how I need Him. Not just when life hits some bumps, but every hour of every day.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

The way of the world is wicked; and if we follow Satan, we make our own trouble. One lie will lead to more lies, hate leads to more hate, and one sin leads to another. Sin leads to sickness and death. When we follow Jesus, we don’t get destroyed by Satan’s hatred. We learn to love our neighbor as ourselves. We learn to humble ourselves before God and let Him lift us up instead of fighting and scratching our way to false glory. Glorify Jesus with your life and receive His blessings.

This song was written in 1872 by Annie Sherwood Hawks, with the chorus and music written by Robert Lowry. It’s a song that stands the test of time because of the truth it holds. Sing it as a prayer.

Have you come to the end of yourself and know that you need Jesus? Tell Him. Pray and ask Him into your life. Turn from the wicked lusts of the flesh and turn to the One who loves you and gave His life for you.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham




Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html

All original scripture is “theopneustos” – God breathed.

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