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" It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." John 6:63

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Hymn - What a Friend we Have in Jesus

What a Friend we Have in Jesus 
by Charles Scriven
I was recently at a nursing home with a dear 90 y.o. lady, who is practically blind. I sang to her the words of this beautiful hymn,  from a Good News Tract by the same name. Although she doesn't know Jesus (by her own admission), she knew this Hymn and greatlly enjoyed it. 
The background to this hymn is gleaned from this site here and is similar to Wikipedia here
Often long-lasting, impactful hymns are born in times of deep sorrow and this one is no different. 
As I read - this hymn meant so much more now. 
"Joseph Scriven was the son of a captain in the British Royal Marines, born in Ireland in 1819. After receiving his university degree from Trinity College in London, he quickly established himself as a teacher, fell in love, and made plans to settle in his hometown. Then tragedy struck. The day before his scheduled wedding, his fiancé drowned.
Overcome with grief, Scriven left Ireland to start a new life in Canada. He established a home in Rice Lake, where he met and fell in love with Eliza Rice. Just weeks before she was to become Joseph Scriven’s bride, she suddenly grew sick. In a matter of weeks, Eliza died.
Joseph M. Scriven from Wikipedia 
A shattered Scriven turned to the only thing that had anchored him during his life — his faith. Through prayer and Bible study he found not just solace, but a mission. The twenty-five year old Scriven took a vow of poverty, sold all of his earthly possessions, and vowed to give his life to the physically handicapped and financially destitute.
Ten years later Scriven received word that his mother had become very ill. The man who had taken a vow of poverty did not have the funds to go home to help care for her. Heartsick, and feeling a need to reach out to her, he wrote the story of his life in three short verses he called “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”
Later, Scriven said, “The Lord and I together wrote the song.” Several of his friends got a copy and one of them carried a copy to a music publisher. Within two years the little poem of inspiration had been published and coupled to a tune written by an American lawyer, Charles Converse.
Two decades later the great American evangelist Dwight L. Moody came across the song and believed it to be the most touching modern hymn that he had ever heard. It was Moody who gave the song a national platform and caused so many to think that the song had been written in America.
Ironically, Joseph Scriven drowned in a Canadian lake in 1886. He did not live to see his song carried to every corner of the globe."
However sad this ending maybe, we may be sure of one thing.
When Joseph died in that cold Canadian lake, he would also come to hear from His Master, His Saviour and Lord: 
"Well done, thou good and faithful servant... Enter thou into the JOY of the Lord."
Sometimes, or perhaps oftentimes, the WHY of the way things happen really eludes us. 
When we are meant to know, we will know. 
What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. John 13:7
Until then, may we likewise be faithful in our small corner of our Heavenly Father's vineyard.
What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
And 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.
Hope this blesses you as much it did me, if you've time please let me know. 
Sending prayer hugs 🙏🏻🤗 for you, in your burdens,
Shaz in Oz.x
PS . If you haven’t I'd love it you to join as a wonderful encourager of this blog ...  link HERE.  Thank YOU to those who have done so already. It really encourages me to keep on.
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What a Friend We Have in Jesus lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC


Marilyn Mathis said...

Love the words of this song. I also have this Friend who is with me through the hard times. God is ever waiting to be a friend to us when we need Him. Hugs

Sunshine Country said...

I'm sorry for not commenting in awhile, I still appreciate reading your posts, but just have been so overwhelmed by so much going on for me at this time in my life (health-wise, extremely trying circumstances, etc.), but the Lord is graciously bringing me through it day by day. Was so blessed recently by the Lord providing a way for me to have some time away soon to visit family that live quite a distance away, Lord willing - something I feel the need for very much! It came right when I felt that I needed it most. Thankful that He knows our needs. Also was encouraged earlier today, by thinking on how times like this are just seasons the Lord brings us through, and won't last for ever. Thank you for posting this.

Conniecrafter said...

Oh Wow I never knew the background to this song and all that this poor man went through, such tragedy is so upsetting and not understandable, the things he did with his life would not have been done if not for what he had gone through, you just never understand in the time why God is leading you on the path that he does, so glad that his song was able to make it to more people.

Cheryl said...

This has been one of my favorite hymns for years. I have sat at the keyboard playing it with tears flowing freely down my face. How thankful I am that He is my friend.

Shoshi said...

What a very sad and touching story, Shaz. It's incomprehensible that one man should have to carry so much sorrow in his life, but even more wonderful that the Lord should sustain him through it all, and through him, to give the world such a legacy. That hymn has touched the lives of so many down the years - its simple, heartfelt faith. Thank you so much for sharing it.

Shoshi x

Anonymous said...

Just want to say Thank You for your WWOL. Truly a blessing, Shaz.
Karen. Xx