Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

What A Friend We Have In Jesus

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

1st February 2015

‘I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you’. (John 15:15 NIV)

Joseph Scriven was born in 1819 and at the age of 25 he was engaged to be married. The night before the wedding his fiancι died in a tragic drowning accident.

Heartbroken, Joseph left Ireland to start a new life in Canada. While there he again became engaged but the person he was due to marry fell ill with pneumonia and died before the wedding could take place.

Joseph never married but his faith in God sustained as he joined the Plymouth Brethren became a Baptist preacher.

Perhaps the one thing Joseph Scriven is most remembered for are the words of a poem he sent from Canada to his ill mother back in Ireland. After the terrible pain and anguish he had experienced in his own life he wrote:

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 Saviour, still our refuge,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He'll take and shield you;
You will find a solace there.

I can’t begin to imagine the grief Joseph experienced when he lost two fiancιs before he could get married; but Jesus can.

He lived on earth as a man and understands our feelings. More than anyone he knew what it was to be lonely, was familiar with sorrow and suffering, and experienced the pain of rejection and cruelty.

As his followers we are not insulated from the tragedies of this world, just as He was not. God has not promised that severe trials will skip over our house on the way to an unbelieving neighbour.

But what God does promise is that as our friend Jesus will come alongside us and give us the strength, the comfort, the courage and the peace of mind to handle all that this world and life can throw at us.

We don’t have to bear any pain alone; take it to the Lord in prayer, for what a friend we have in Jesus.


Father, thank you that Jesus is our companion and friend who will never leave nor forsake us. In the trials we experience remind us again that in him we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share.

Have a good week with your best friend,

Pastor Barry

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