What A Friend We Have...

What a friend we have Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear; what a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer. O, what peace we often forfeit; O, what needless pain we bear; all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care! Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer. Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer; In His arms He’ll take and shield thee, Though wilt find a solace there.

There is no other friend like Jesus, and when we consider all that He does for us, and every way that we can never pay Him back, it makes our relationship to Him more special than any that we can ever have with our fellow man. That is why Joseph Scriven wrote the lyrics to “What A Friend We Have In Jesus.” Scriven was born in 1820 in Dublin, and moved to Canada at the age of twenty-five. He was born into a wealthy family, received a fine education, and was even ready to be married. But on the eve of his wedding, Scriven’s fiancée drowned.

Having no where else to go, and his best friend gone, he found comfort in Jesus Christ, realizing that human relations die and falter, but a relationship to the Savior will never disappoint. With a renewed understanding of the Lord, he moved to Port Hope, Canada and spent the rest of his life subsisting on humble means and doing good deeds for everybody around him. “One afternoon he was seen walking down the streets of Port Hope, where he lived, dressed as a plain workingman and carrying a saw horse and a saw on his mission of help. A citizen, noticing that a friend recognized him, said: ‘Do you know that man? What is his name and where does he live? I want some one to cut wood and I find it difficult to get a sober man to do the work faithfully.’ ‘But you can’t get that man,’ was the reply. ‘That is Mr. Scriven. He won’t cut wood for you.’ ‘Why not?’ queried the gentleman. ‘Because you are able to pay for it. He only saws wood for poor widows and sick people’” (Sankey, 334). He never married – Jesus Christ was the only friend he ever needed.

We can be friends of the Savior, too, if we live a life that is in his shadow. Remember what Christ says in John 15:13-14, “Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.”