What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs 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
This was the hymn we sang in Church one Sunday morning. It was not a new hymn for me since I had been singing it from childhood. That hymn however, meant more to me on this particular day than it ever did. I have therefore decided to share my thoughts on this hymn with you today.
Jesus is the true definition of friendship. He is a friend who stands by His word. One of my favourite scriptures is John 14:18, “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you. This is a great encouragement to the Christian! Whatever you are going through right now, the Lord is saying, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. Such is the ultimate example of friendship. A friend who is absolutely committed to staying by your side through thick and thin. What a friend we have in Jesus!
A friend is a burden bearer. Jesus bore our shame and reproach upon the cross. He didn’t bear it in private, no; He bore it in the open. The whole world looked upon Him as He died the death reserved only for criminals. He became cursed that you and I may be set free from the curse of the Law. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” Isaiah 53:5
It is possible for us to have friends who will encourage us, who would be there for us as much as they can. There are however, limitations to what they can do. Sooner or later, our friends will have to leave and then, we are back grappling with our problems. There are also times when our friends can’t seem to understand what we are going through. No matter how hard you try to explain, they just can’t appreciate the situation. Even when they do understand, there is a little or nothing they can do about it. The problem at times is that because people have not experienced what you are going through, they cannot appreciate how you feel.
However, we have a friend who has experienced any pain and sorrow you can think of. He is the only one who can fully appreciate what you are going through. See what the writer of Hebrews says about Him. “For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” Hebrews 4:15. He knows what you are going through, and because He knows, He can help you through that situation more than any human friend you can think of!
One day, while living in Nigeria, I passed by a mosque on my way home. A Moslem cleric was preaching and what got my attention was a statement he made, which is a common phrase among Moslems. He said, “God did not beget any child, neither is He begotten. We are servants and not sons of God”. I smiled and thought, “What a privilege I have, not just being a child of God but also being called a friend of God!” Christ said, “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. John 15:15.
Another privilege we have is the privilege of prayer. God does not ordinarily owe us any obligation to do the things that we require of Him. It however pleases Him anytime we come to Him in prayer. Most times, we miss out on the blessings, the comforts, the encouragement and peace of prayer when we go around carrying our burdens. No matter how long we carry these burdens, they will not disappear; they would rather become heavier because one burden naturally has several burdens attached to it. When we however take these burdens to the Lord in prayer, what this means is that we are telling the Lord, “I cannot carry these burdens Lord, so I am bringing them to you because I trust you to deal with them in the most perfect way”.
Oh, what a friend we have in Jesus!
(c) Biblepraise Fellowship Online
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the owner of Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He lives in London where he works as an IT professional. He serves in the ministerial team of his local church as well as in the music ministry. He is the Moderator/Editor of Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, email@example.com