What A Friend We Have In Jesus!

My Post (7)Back in 1855, an Irish poet by the name of Joseph Scriven composed a hymn that is known to most of us, “What a friend we have in Jesus.” Most people don’t realise that the hymn came out of the furnace of affliction. Joseph was engaged to be married not just once, but twice. His first fiancée drowned the day before their wedding was supposed to take place. The second time he got engaged, his fiancée died of pneumonia… In the end, Scriven decided to dedicate his life 24/7 to serving the Lord. He wrote this song originally as a poem for his mother to comfort her when he left Ireland for Canada. This beautiful poem which is today one of the most famous hymns in the world only became known after Scriven himself died tragically (also by drowning in 1886).

What a story to ponder on… I heard someone say that we can’t have a testimony without a test. This man (Scriven) was tested, and came through the fire praising GOD! It is said that God recruits some of His best soldiers from the highlands of affliction. This is a case in point. For the record, God is not always the direct cause of all our suffering, but at the very least He permits them to happen. We are born to a falling world full of it – suffering. James (the brother of Jesus) tells us to count it all joy when faced with all of the trials and sorrow life may bring our way, but sometimes it is hard…

In spite of it all, Scriven found an extraordinary friendship with God which gave him purpose and hope. There is no joy as deep, no hope as eternal, no love as secure as that found in Christ alone. Indeed, what a friend we have in Jesus! You cannot ever find a better friend. He will stick closer to you than a brother. Jesus is beyond in our midst. The Apostle Paul tried to express Jesus with words and finally threw up his hands and said, ‘Jesus is the name above every other name.’ – Philippians 2:9… To be a Christian is not to follow a religion but to embrace a relationship with the Lord Jesus which makes it more precious. Christianity is not just a way of life” IT IS LIFE” Jesus is not a part of our life; He is our life. In HIM we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).

The Christian faith is the only faith where the message is the messenger. Take buddha out of Buddhism, and you still have the Buddhist teaching. Take Krishna out of Hinduism, and you still have the Hindu teaching. But not so with the Christian faith. If you take Jesus Christ out of Christianity, you end of with a religion. Without Jesus Christ, we have no message. Jesus did not merely teach us about God, He is God. Jesus did not merely tell us about Salvation, He is our salvation. Jesus did not merely tell us about the wages of our sins, No! He bore the wages of our sins on his body on the cross. He was crucified on a cross of wood but He made the hill on which it stood and the tree on which He’d bleed. Jesus did not merely point us to God, He is the only way to God. Jesus was not just a good man, but He was a perfect sinless man.

One of the greatest problems with humanity is our inability to comprehend the love of God. The Epistle to the Ephesians (Ch. 3) reveals that the apostle Paul prayed that all of God’s people will be fully capable of comprehending the width and length and height and depth of the love of Christ, and to know this love which far surpasses mere knowledge. If the oceans is an ink well, and the skies above a scroll, there would not be enough water in all the oceans to write of the love of God for you and me. If ever you should need reminding that God loves you, read John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” The very heart of Christ is Compassion. I think by God’s grace, one day I could write another blog on the subject of ‘Compassion’ alone… There is no greater love than the love Jesus gives us. No greater friend will you ever find. Jesus knows our every weakness, He is a solace for the troubled heart, He is there to help in times of need. When we wander, He is our Shepherd. He will help you and see you through. You can bank on it. Take it to Him in prayer. All to Jesus in prayer.

What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
And what a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer
Oh, what peace we often forfeit
Oh, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness
Take it to the Lord in prayer

Hymn written by Joseph Medlicott Scriven (1819 –1886)