What a Friend We Have in Jesus

Five Days of Hymn Stories


What a Friend We Have in Jesus

I no longer call you servants . . .
I have called you friends.
          —John 15:15

The day before his wedding, Joseph Scriven’s betrothed died in an accident. Scriven dealt with his grief by leaving his native Ireland for Port Hope, Canada, committing his life to helping those who were financially destitute or physically handicapped. He became known as “the Good Samaritan of Port Hope.”

When he received word that his mother was ill, he didn’t have funds to travel to Ireland, so he wrote her a letter, enclosing the words of a poem he had written about the never-failing love of Jesus.

What a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear;
What a privilege to carry
Ev’ry thing to God 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.

In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

Evangelist Dwight Moody considered it the most touching hymn he ever heard.

Don’t face acquaintance with grief
without acquaintance with faith.

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