What A Friend We Have In Jesus

What A Friend We Have In Jesus

All my life, I have called this song by the wrong name.  Looking back on this, its hard not to smile. Because in my mistitling it, I found an important lesson and message.

Take it to the Lord in Prayer.

When I’m sick…

I take it to the Lord.

When I’m scared…

I take it to the Lord.

When I’m hurt or lonely…

I take it to the Lord.

Do I do it near as often as I should? Probably not. Though I cannot help but wonder, how different certain things might have been had I done this, and simply taken some of my heaviest burdens to the Lord in prayer.

Have you ever found yourself struggling with something so much that you saw no hope or way out? Have you ever lost faith in people and asked yourself why you even bother? Have you even perhaps tossed and turned at night, maybe even cried until there were no more tears to cry because you didn’t have the answers you needed and didn’t know how to face another day?

Dear brother… beloved sister… I’ve been there too, and let me tell you… we cannot and were not meant to do it on our own.

Jeremiah 33:3 New International Version (NIV)

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

The Story Behind The Hymn

This hymn carries within it the notes of sadness each of us is familiar with. Pain, grief, and worry as well as notes of discouragement, weakness, and despair. The verses carry in them the sorrows we know in this life, but with them too we are given a profound message of hope.

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
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.
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.
Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.

Composed by: Joseph M. Scriven

What inspired such heartfelt words? Well… in short, tragedy and hardship.

Joseph M. Scriven knew heartache. He was no stranger to it either. He knew loss, pain, and likely even hopelessness at times when things didn’t seem to go his way.

The only way anyone can truly appreciate the beauty, power, and praise of this piece is to better understand not only the testimony in the life of the Joseph M. Scriven, but also the ministry perhaps to be found in your own.

We have no greater friend, nor anyone who can better understand and know our woes than Jesus.  For He has known our pain and seen it amplified. He has known suffering, for He has paid the ultimate price. He knows sin and temptation, for He washes it all away.





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