Meditation on “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”

  • Hymn Lyrics written by Joseph Scriven

    “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” is such a familiar hymn, sung in countless churches on numerous Sundays.   It is an old-fashioned tune that many of us find ponderous and frankly boring. It is often sung slowly and drags.

    Until you really think about the words:

What a friend we have in Jesus

All our sins and griefs to spare

What a privilege to carry

everything to God in prayer.

— He is a friend like no other. He is never selfish, He gladly bears every sadness and loss we encounter in life.  Beyond that, He takes on every mistake we make. He doesn’t just sympathize with our grief and forgive us for wrongs, He removes the burden off our shoulders and places it on His own.  It enables us to live lives of joyous, clear-eyed freedom.  We are able to live with an inner serenity.

Why don’t we?  We often think of prayer as a chore and forget it is a great help given to us.  What do we lose when we don’t pray?

O what peace we often forfeit,

O what needless pain we bear

All because we do not carry

Everything to God in prayer.

Foolishly, we don’t take advantage of this amazing help and comfort.  We fret, worry, and despair over circumstances and problems we can’t change.   We spend hours complaining and stressing with our loved ones, creating what if scenarios that might not ever happen.  We forget or don’t understand that when  we confess our guilt to Jesus, He gives us access to God our Creator, the One who sustains us. We are losing sleep, health and strength.  We are adding stress, grey hair, and fat; and shortening our lives.

We forget that once we take Jesus at His Word and promise allegiance to Him, trusting that His blood covers our sin,  we receive the tremendous privilege of being able to have fellowship with God.  In this restored relationship, we are given the gift of communication with God through prayer. This is the same God Who with His power  created the universe and has the power to change us and give us peace.

Have we trials and temptations?

Is there trouble everywhere?

We should never be discouraged:

take it to the Lord in prayer.

Can we find a friend so faithful

who will all our sorrows bear?

Jesus knows our every weakness

take it to the Lord in prayer.

Jesus is the great high priest who understands every temptation we go through and knows the extreme difficulty of resisting sin. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet He did not sin.  Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16

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!

We lose friends.  Sometimes we are wronged and can not forgive.  Sometimes we wrong others and don’t know how to reconcile, or after seeking forgiveness, don’t receive it.  We must seek Jesus and look to His example of turning the other cheek.  Ask the Holy Spirit to give us the grace to remember how much we have forgiven and in obedience, forgive.  As for seeking forgiveness, pray that you can approach that person with the humility of Jesus and that God will move in that person’s heart.  If there is no reconciliation, lay that relationship at the feet of Jesus and continue to pray for that person.   Pray that the Lord teaches you through this situation.

In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,

thou wilt find a solace there.


About Cindy Bleuler Tucker

Hi! I'm Cindy, and I am a retired teacher, wife, and mother of a 20 year old. I am a Christian with great interest in living for the Lord in my daily life. My Christian worldview permeates every thing I do and say, at least when my sin doesn't get in the way! My family and friends are very important to me. I have a great interest in the Blble, moral issues, politics, books music, and popular culture. I love writing, going to church activities, swimming, and exercising. I have a personal interest in disability and adoption issues. I write devotionals, political commentary, reviews, poetry, and some fiction and I guess whatever I feel like. I guarantee you will not agree with me on everything. I welcome your constructive comments and hope we can have a great sharing of the minds.
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