Sunday, January 18, 2015

What A Friend We Have In Jesus

A true friend loves and accepts us just as we are,
stays close to us in good or in bad,
and is always ready to help in time of need.
Because the author of this hymn text found such a friend in his Lord,
he decided to spend his entire life showing real friendship to others.


Joseph Scriven had wealth, education, a devoted family, 
and a pleasant life in his native Ireland.
Then unexpected tragedy entered.
On the night before Scriven's scheduled wedding, his fiancee drowned.
In his deep sorrow, Joseph realized that he could find the solace and support he needed
only in his dearest friend, Jesus.


What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O 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.


Soon after the tragedy of losing his fiancee,
Scriven dramatically changed his lifestyle.
He left Ireland for Port Hope, Canada, determined to devote all of his extra time
in being a friend and helper to others.
He often gave away his clothing and possessions to those in need,
and he worked - without pay - for anyone who needed him.
Scriven became known as "the Good Samaritan of Port Hope."

Joseph Scriven became ill and a friend came to call upon him.
His friend happened to see a copy of the words of this hymn text 
scribbled on scratch paper near his bed.
The friend read the lines with interest and asked,
"Who wrote these beautiful words?"
"The Lord and I did it between us," was Scriven's answer.
What a Friend we have in Jesus. . .
- Amazing Grace - Kenneth W. Osbeck -


A man that hath friends must show himself friendly:
and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
- Proverbs 18:24 -

Have a blessed Lord's Day, sweet friends!

* * * * *

Many thanks to my friends. . . 
for giving me the printed hymn
and Linda from Lady Linda for the beautiful pearl pendant
which were used in my photos today :)

* * * * *

Sharing with:
The Art of Home-Making Mondays

40 comments:

Scrappy quilter said...

What a lovely post. I am glad I have Jesus as my friend and I am thankful I have great friends to share my walk with. I am also thankful to call you friend.

Debbie said...

A true friend loves and accepts us just as we are....no truer words have ever been spoken!!!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

WOW. Together, Jesus and each one of us can create a lasting work that could help millions. That hymn is one of my favorites, and I know it in French; I heard it one day in Provence when I was invited off the street to enter an evangelical French church. "Quel ami fidèle et tendre, nous avon en Jésus Christ..."

Faithful from beginning to end. Quite the story, the hope, the real deal after this vapor of a life is complete.

Lulu James said...

Beautiful--I love to hear how hymns originated. Thank you for sharing this story!

Mari said...

Such a simple reminder...and so poignant! Why is it that we leave it for last? mari

CherylQuilts said...

Oh, Stephanie, how amazing to read your post today! As I was reading the Scripture today, I re-read the bookmark that had this story and the wonderful words of "What A Friend We Have In Jesus!" It stirred me so, knowing that in his deepest sorrow it was Jesus to Whom he sought peace and comfort! And, yes, may we continually strive to be a true friend who loves no matter where our friend(s) are, praying for them and rejoicing as we see God working in their lives! Warm hugs and a special thanks, sweet friend!

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

I love how you framed it, so beautiful.

Mary said...

Beautiful post, I so enjoyed the story behind this song which happens to be one of my favorite hymns. My favorite line...What a privilege to carry everything to Him in prayer ~ oh yes it is. Happy SonDay Stephanie! God Bless you!

Simply Linda said...

I had no idea about that story. Thank you for such a lovely post. Blessings

Julie's Lifestyle said...

Thanks for sharing this lovely story. Have a nice Sunday!

Little Birdie Blessings said...

Thanks for the story behind this hymn. I had heard it at one time but had forgotten it. Out of sorrow, comfort comes. Glad you're enjoying the hymn graphic. Have a blessed day Stephanie. ~ Abby

CelestinaMarie@SouthernDayDreams said...

Dear Stephanie, I have always loved this hymn and even more now knowing the story behind it. What a wonderful man and God used his talents to help others in so many ways.
Thank you for sharing this today. Your photos are so beautiful. I can see this framed as a piece of art on the wall.
Blessings to you sweet friend!
XOXO

Ceil said...

Hi Stephanie! Like Celestina Marie, I had no idea of the history behind this hymn. ( I love the version sung by Amy Grant) Learning about how songs come to be is always so inspiring, and this is no exception. May I always lay my sorrows at the feet of the Lord, and see him as my forever friend.
How special to have such generous blog-friends. You are greatly blessed!
Ceil

Joyful said...

Hi Stephanie, what a lovely post. I grew up singing this song in church but didn't know the story behind it. It is a beautiful story of a man's reliance on God. Touching and inspirational. Blessings. xx

Maggie Ann said...

How precious that such a gem of truth should come out of tragedy.

Debbie Harris said...

What an inspiring message in many ways, Stephanie.
The words of the hymn itself speaks volumes to us on the friend we have in Jesus. He is everything, isn't He?
And all we have to do is call upon His name. That is a true friend!
I can only hope to be that kind of a friend to others.
Oh to be like Christ, even as a friend to others, I want to be just like Jesus.

This has given me much to ponder on on the realm of being there for others.

Lovely photos too.

Love you!

Bonnie said...

I didn't know this about the author of this precious hymn. The meaning of the words have comforted and inspired me many times. This is very inspiring and meaningful. Thank you, Stephanie for sharing this today.

Vicky Hunt said...

Beautiful Stephanie and what a sweet and sad story. Love the photos, the things you chose to use in the photos are so pretty. And, how true....we need never feel alone because we always have a friend in Jesus. Thanks for sharing this Stephanie. I hope you have had a lovely Sunday my friend...:)

Hugs, Vicky

Gina said...

Stephanie, what a sad tragedy but beautiful song. Amen to the lyrics!

Natalie said...

Thanks for sharing the story of this blessed hymn. We just sang that a couple of Sundays ago. Truly is sweet to trust in our Savior. God bless!

Mari said...

I never heard the background of that hymn. It makes it even better. I was working today and one of my residents (97 years old) was singing that song, then telling me what a good friend Jesus has been to him, all of his life. He has some dementia, but his relationship with the Lord still shines through!

doodles n daydreams said...

The words and stories behind some of the old hymns are really quite moving. Yesterday in church our 'canned' music failed for the last song so the lay leader suggested we sing 'All things bright and beautiful', so we did, without the need for music or words on a screen. Great. But you can tell we were mostly an older congregation, the younger ones are mostly away on holiday still.
Have a great day

Diana

JES said...

Love the history and encouragement. Just beautiful Stephanie!!! What a friend we have indeed!

Melanie said...

What a beautiful story! I love to read how some of our hymns came to be. What a beautiful soul to be so open to God as to bless us with those lyrics in his time of tragedy! Thanks for sharing this.

Sola Scriptura said...

I've always enjoyed that hymn, but not I love it all the more! What a touching story. Thank you for sharing this, Stephanie.

Shoregirl said...

Interesting story - it's always nice to learn how the hymns came to be written.

Conniecrafter said...

It is amazing how people can come through such tragedy and God can give them such wonderful words to get the rest of us through our hard times and turn us to Himself. Beautiful pictures :) Hope you had a great weekend and God blesses you with a wonderful week ahead!

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

A beautiful hymn Stephanie, these words were written as a letter to his dying mother.
Sadly he couldn't get back to Ireland to be with her and put all his faith in God to take care of her.
God was his strength and friend indeed,
Wishing you a beautiful week dear Stephanie.
Shane x

Debby Ray said...

What a beautiful background story to this hymn...I don't think I have ever heard it. So many of these favorite hymns have been inspired by tragedy. Of course, as only God can do, through sorrow and adversity He was still able to inspire great examples of His faithfulness...thanks for sharing this, Stephanie :)

Christine said...


This is one of my personal favourites.
Mr Scriven came from a town about 12 miles from where
I now live and I have visited the monument erected there in his memory. He certainly endured much but proved the love of God and His friendship.

White Lace and Promises said...

Couldn't make it if I didn't know that I had a friend in Jesus. I've found friends in Blogland but so few when the chips are down in the real world. My son in law said the other day, "But don't you think those in "blogland" could be your real friends. Of course, I do. I do! Thanks for sharing this precious hymn in such a beautiful way.

Mindy Whipple said...

I have always loved this hymn and love hearing the story behind it. I especially love his response when his friend asked who wrote it - precious! We have a book with several hymns and the history behind them. Such inspiring stories.

Bethany Carson said...

Love your new blog design, Stephanie! Enjoyed hearing the story to the hymn What a Friend We Have in Jesus. I play it just about every time I practice the piano.

Summer Nicole said...

What a beautiful blog! :) I am so glad you stopped by my page and left a note or I might not have found you. This is an encouraging and inspiring place, looking forward to perusing it some more! :)

Deserae said...

Great story....I never knew the history behind the hymn. Thanks so much for sharing it :o)
Have a great week!!
~Des

Lady Linda said...

Very nice dear Stephanie and what lovely photos. I read your FB farewell and totally understand. I don't know how you it all. I am just having such a hard time keeping up with one blog. Life is just so busy for me right now. Love ya lots and will follow you where ever you may be posting. Hugs...

Daniela said...

In the title you've chosen is contained such a deep meaning and going on with this reading my heart has felt lighter more and more, thank you for this beatiful post, my dear friend !
Blessings
Dany

Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

Well a truly beautiful post Stephanie how wondrously our Lord works.... that which seems to be for evil He turns into great sweetness and goodness. How great a God we serve. Love the digi of it with jewellery. .very tastefully done Dear sweet sister in the Lord. Shaz in Oz.x ♡

Sherry @ Thrift My House said...

A beautiful post Stephanie!

Blue Jeans And Teacups said...

I don't know many old hymns, but I do enjoy them. I don't think I have ever seen one presented in so lovely a manner as this one. What a gift! Thank you for sharing.

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