What a Friend We Have in Jesus
In 1845, just after the tragic death of Joseph Scriven’s fiancé, he moved to Ontario, Canada, from Dublin, Ireland. The death of the love of his life devastated him, and everything in Ireland reminded him of her. So, he packed his bags to start over again, far away from the pain he left behind.
Shortly after moving to Ontario, Joseph became a Christian. He was well known as a devout Christian who eagerly shared his faith with all and was the first to be there for the needy. His love for Jesus was obvious and evident to everyone that knew him.
Eventually, he found a new love and once again was engaged to be wed. Unfortunately, just weeks before his wedding, his fiancé died from pneumonia. Though the grief was just as bad as it was with his first fiancé Joseph now had a friend who was there with him to walk through it and give him peace and comfort.
He wrote a letter to his mother, who was still in Ireland, to tell her of the tragic news. In this letter, he included a poem that he wrote, hoping it would comfort her and be a witness. The poem stated:
What a friend we have in Jesus all our sins and grief’s 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.
The hymn did bring Joseph’s mother great comfort. She loved it so much that, with his permission, she had it published. It immediately became a very popular poem. Many years later, after Joseph Scriven’s death, an unknown musician composed an Irish tune to go along with the poem transforming it into one of the most beloved hymns of our day.
Isn’t it wonderful to know that Jesus is our friend? (John 15:15). Isn’t it wonderful to know that He will always be there for us regardless of what we face in life? If you are facing trials today, take it to the Lord in prayer.