When my Aunt Ruth was dying, the Lord brought cousin Judy (Ruth’s only living child) one of the “old” songs each day to comfort and encourage her, songs like “It is Well With My Soul,” “I Love to Tell the Story,” and “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” It is that last one that I’ve been thinking about a lot this week.
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.
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged. 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.
I have lived long enough to see that generally, the people who deal best with the trials of life are those for whom Jesus is their best friend, not just someone they call on in times of trouble, but someone they talk to every day, the friend that is “closer than a brother.” They know, because they have given their whole lives to following and fellowshipping with Him, that He will “work everything together for good” on their behalf, as it says in Romans 8:28-29. I have done some reflecting on why this is so, and I realized that in most if not all religions and philosophical systems, the ultimate dependence is on oneself. One needs to say enough prayers or do enough good deeds, or look within to find the meaning of life and the answers to life’s challenges. Or one looks to “the universe” or some unknowable god for strength and wisdom. But there are no real answers there. The other gods always demand something of us, or expect us to solve things for ourselves.
In contrast, Jesus is God Himself reaching out to us, offering His very life as atonement for OUR sin, so that we can be reconciled to the Father. It never ceases to amaze me that the God who created the universe loves me and wants me to know Him, and wants me to be His friend. I committed my life to Him when I was seven years old, and in the (many) years following, I have learned to trust Him more and more. The more I trust Him, and see the world from His perspective, the more I understand about His love, and the more I find “solace” in prayer, in conversation with Him. There is no situation that is too large or too small for Him to care about. He is my foundation, my peace, and my hope. I pray that He is yours as well. If you would like to know more about how to know Him, follow this link abjoyce.us/KnowGod, and may God bless you today.