Contributor Two Contributor Two
"I Will Go On"
Contributor Two Contributor Two
I Will Go On

I repent for moments I have spent
Recalling all the pain
And failures of my past.
I repent for dwelling on the things
Beyond my pow’r to change—
The chains that held me fast.

I give up the bitterness and hate
And blaming men and fate
For all my discontent.
The guilt and pain I empty from my cup,
So God can fill it up
With peace and sweet content.

I will go on—
My past I leave behind me,
I gladly take His mercy and His love.
He is joy and He is peace,
He is strength and sweet release,
I know He is and I am His,
I will go on.

I accept the promise of the dawn,
A place to build upon,
To make a brand-new day.
I will begin convinced that Jesus lives,
Assured that He forgives
And that He’s here to stay.

I will go on—
My past I leave behind me,
I gladly take His mercy and His love.
He is joy and He is peace,
He is strength and sweet release,
I know He is and I am His,
I will go on.


Lyrics: William J. and Gloria Gaither / Music: William J. Gaither Copyright © 1979 William J. Gaither
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“I Will Go On” is one of the most encouraging songs we’ve ever written. It is also one of the most discouraging, and I must say it was far easier to write than it is to live out. It is encouraging because it reminds us over and over to get the hard stuff into perspective, realign our worldview, and get the past behind us. It is one of the most discouraging, at least for me, because about the time I get to the place where I have put the past behind me on one issue in my life, repented of my attitude of resentment, self-deprecating regret or paralyzing discouragement, and asked God to help me refocus on Him and the future and surrender to the upward pull of His grace, some new life tsunami sweeps into my life.

Perhaps that is why confession, repentance, trust in and reliance on the work God has done (and not on our own abilities), gratitude and praise and active compassion for others are all so essential to the ongoing faith lives of believers. “I Will Go On” is one of our favorites of the songs Bill and I have written. We have found that it is so basic to a healthy spiritual life to keep on forgiving not only others, but ourselves as well. It is so necessary to have the courage to admit it when we are less than gracious, to let go of bitterness and regret before it takes root, to embrace hope, both for ourselves and for those around us, and to choose to turn and face forward, as Paul said, “toward … the prize … for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:14 NIV)

Counselors tell us that this song is not only good theology but good psychology. Baggage from the past can shut down our futures. Grudges and resentment can sabotage the good relationships just waiting to be realized. Authorities say that kids who grow up around scorekeeping and getting even, or who hear their parents stewing on injustices (when has life been fair?) learn to come at life with their fists doubled up, ready to take on the first persons who cross their paths. From there it just becomes a matter of bigger weapons: fists, sticks, clubs, guns, bombs … until the whole earth becomes encampments of bullies, lying in wait to blow up the planet.

The cup of life holds only so much. In order to fill it with love, joy, peace, contentment, goodness and progress, it must first be emptied of anger, blame, resentment, bitterness, grudges and negative energies. It’s up to us. The great news is that God promises to empower us for right living the minute we admit our failures and embrace His perfect work in us.