Jesus Comfort

What A Friend We Have In Jesus

"And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God."   James 2:23
Not far from Port Hope, Ontario, stands a monument with this inscription: "Four miles north, in Pengally's Cemetery, lies the philanthropist and author of this great masterpiece, written at Port Hope, 1857." Above the inscription are the words of this beloved hymn. Joseph Scriven, its author, was a man who had experienced the friendship of Jesus through a life filled with personal tragedy.

When Scriven was a young man in Ireland, his fiancee accidently drowned the evening before their wedding. Soon after this, he set sail for Canada. He seemed destined to live his life alone, with Jesus as his only close friend.

Scriven never intended to publish this hymn. He wrote the words to accompany a letter to his mother, who was ill in far-off Ireland. He had no material resources to send her, only a reminder that the most perfect of friends, Jesus Himself, was nearby.

William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen

What a friend we have in 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!

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.

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,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

"Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you."   John 15:15

[ Joseph Medlicott Scriven (1819-1886) -- from 'Tidings' Charlotte ( ]


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