Just What I Need He Gives

“JUST WHAT I NEED HE GIVES”

“So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper…” (Heb. 13:6)

     INTRO.:  A song which reminds us that the Lord is our helper and provides for all our needs is “Just What I Need He Gives” (#307 in Songs of the Church).  The text was written by James Rowe (1865-1933).  The tune was composed by Anthony Johnson Showalter (1858-1924).  The earliest book to which I can trace the song is Gospel Songs No. 2 edited by Austin Taylor and G. H. P. Showalter for the Firm Foundation Pub. Co. of Austin, TX, in 1919.  However, it was also included in Waves of Salvation, Nos. 1 and 2 Combined edited by Anthony J. Showalter (with Thomas B. Mosley, et al.) for the A. J. Showalter Co. of Dalton, GA, in 1922.  This would seem to imply that there were Waves of Salvation No. 1, and Waves of Salvation No. 2 which had been published sometime before 1922, and perhaps one or both before 1919, in one of which the song may have first appeared.  

     Rowe was a prolific hymn text composer whose best known song is probably “Love Lifted Me.”  Showalter is perhaps most remembered as the composer of the tune used with “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.”  Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, “Just What I Need He Gives” appeared in the 1959 Majestic Hymnal No. 2 and the 1978 Hymns of Praise both edited by Reuel Lemmons.  Today, in addition to Songs of the Church, it may be found in the 2009 Favorite Songs of the Church edited by Robert J. Taylor Jr.  This song is not to be confused with another song by William C. Poole and Charles H. Gabriel entitled “Just When I Need Him Most,” found in Sacred Selections.

     The song mentions several situations when Jesus gives us just what we need.

I. Stanza 1 talks about times of temptation

“When I am tempted evil to do,

Keeping me spotless, keeping me true,

Jesus is near my strength to renew;

Just what I need He gives.”

 A. As long as we live on this earth, we will be tempted to do evil: Jas. 1:13-15

 B. However, even in temptation the Lord will be near us if we draw near to Him: Jas. 4:8

 C. He wants to help keep His church spotless: Eph. 5:25-27

II. Stanza 2 talks about carrying burdens on a dreary path

“Whether the path is dreary or bright,

Whether my care is heavy or light,

Holding my hand by day and by night,

Just what I need He gives.”

 A. The right path, whether it be dreary or bright, is the strait and narrow way: Matt. 7:13-14

 B. Sometimes our care may be heavy or light, but each one must bear his own load: Gal. 6:5

 C. If we are faithful to Him, He will hold our hand day and night, symbolizing God’s guidance in our lives: Ps. 32:8

III. Stanza 3 talks about times of loneliness

“He is indeed a marvelous Friend;

Step after step with Him I ascend.

Keeping me faithful unto the end,

Just what I need He gives.”

 A. Jesus is indeed a marvelous Friend who will keep us from being lonely: Jn. 15:13-15

 B. He will keep step after step with us because He has promised to be with us to the end of the world: Matt. 28:20

 C. It is His desire to help us be faithful unto the end: Rev. 2:10

IV. Stanza 4 talks about going to heaven

“I shall behold Him after a while,

Hear His glad welcome, see His dear smile;

That we may meet on yonder fair isle,

Just what I need He gives.”

 A. Our hope is to behold Him after a while: 1 Jn. 3:2

 B. Then we shall hear Him welcome us into the joy of our Lord: Matt. 25:21

 C. And we shall live with Him forever on yonder fair isle by the river of the water of life: Rev. 22:1-5

     CONCL.:  The chorus points out that we should give honor and glory to His name because He will live close to us all our lives.

“Just what I need He gives;

Close to my side He lives.

Honor and glory be to His name;

Just what I need He gives.”

I cannot live this life as God intends and especially hope to make it to heaven all by myself.  I need the Lord’s help, and I can be assured that “Just What I Need He Gives.”

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