Tuesday, July 6, 2010

True Friends

True friends are very hard to come by. Very few people truly love us and accept us just as we are with all of our good and bad. It is amazingly difficult to realize that we may have numerous acquaintances that are “good-time” and “fair-weather” friends, but those who will come to our aid rendering help in a time of need are few.

Joseph Scriven at one time in his life had what we might call, “it all!” He was wealthy, had good health and a good education. He had happiness, a close and devoted family. You could actually say that Scriven was living a very good life in his home in Ireland.

Then a very tragic event changed his life forever. The night before his wedding day his fiancée drowned. He could not find comfort. His friends tried to comfort him but to no avail. He began to realize that the only place he could find true comfort and support was in his precious savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Scriven made a life changing decision; he dramatically changed how he looked at and lived his life. He chose to leave Ireland and live in Port Hope, Canada where he dedicated his life to being a real and true friend and a helper to those in need.

Many times he would give away clothing and possessions to those who had a need. Many times he would work for someone who needed a job done without pay. He actually became known as the Good Samaritan in the city of Port Hope.

When Scriven learned that his mother was very ill back in Ireland, he wrote her a letter hoping to comfort and console her. He knew that she needed a friend that she could rely on and find absolute comfort in this desperate time of sickness. So he enclosed a poem that he had recently composed with a note hoping and praying that the words in his poem would remind his mother of the one true friend that would never fail her or let her down.

Moving into the future, when Scriven was very sick, a friend came to visit him. His friend happened to see a copy of that poem on the nightstand near the bed. Scriven’s friend read those words and asked, “Who wrote these beautiful words?” Scriven is said to have replied, “The Lord and I did it between us.”

You know these words very well, and you have sung this poem numerous times. Now, you know where these “beautiful words” came from. Here is Joseph Scriven’s poem he wrote about a friend who will never let you down regardless of the tragedy that comes your way.

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief’s 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 troubles share?
Jesus knows our every weakness – take 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.


welcome to my world of poetry said...

True friends indeed are very hard to find these days, luckily I have a few whom I have known for years.
Enjoyed your post the read was great.

Thanks for the visit are you sure YOU'RE not wearing brown....lol


Pilgrim Mommy said...

It's so encouraging to learn the stories behind these beloved hymns. Thanks for posting this.

IanH said...

Thanks, Gregg! I never new how that song originated.

Lloyd said...

How true this message is Gregg. My best friend is my wife and I would like to say she is my also my "true" friend. But we are all just human, and so if we really want to be truthful with ourselves, we all have to admitte that the only real "true" friend we have is our Lord Jesus. God's blessings too you. Lloyd

Eddie Eddings said...

This song teaches, encourages and comforts. I wish more songs had these three elements.
Oh yeah, the tune is unforgettable also.

The Old Geezer said...

Amen! What a Friend "I" have in Jesus. Thanks for sharing the history of this song.

Terry said...

oh this post brought tears to my eyes.
what a history!..just lovely!
the lord is a friend that will never leave us.
i like the way that my best friend, felisol worded this,
i will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
she says, "thee forsake nor thee leave never will i"..
gregg!.. forward and backward, the very same message....what a friend we have in jesus!
encouraging and heart warming post gregg...as usual....from terry

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Hi, my comments sending and recieving have been playing up all day as many others, I added a verse to my poem I wrote this morning. Thanks for the visit much appreciated. It's been a day of all days today,


Gregg said...

Yvonne - thanks for stopping by! I am glad you have known a few of those really true friends.

PM - You are welcome, and I agree. It makes the hymn a little more special to me to know its background.

IanH - you too are welcome, glad to have shared something new.

Lloyd - now and then we get to have those really "true-blue" friends. Being human we are many times less than the friend we should be.

Eddie Eddings - I am with you!

OG - What a friend He is indeed! To think that He is my friend!

Terry - it is a lovely history and story. I am so gald that no matter what happens, He will never forsake us nor leave us.

Brian Ray Todd said...

One of my favorite songs to sing in church. Focuses on prayer and that personnally hits a note with me. Love it! Thank you Joseph for blessing the world.

Kansas Bob said...

Thanks so much for this Gregg! Always love the stories behind these great hymns.

arlee bird said...

There is so much truth expressed in these verses. In the times when I've felt most down and abandoned, God carried me thru those really difficult times and lifted me up. Reading God's Word brought comfort, encouragement, and strength to keep me going.

I have gotten some real fine moral support from those in the church sometimes, but sad to say I have often been disappointed by those who wave their Christianity like a banner. It saddens me when people act like they are in an exclusive Christian club and they are better than others.

Fred, one of my truest friends, now deceased, was not only a non-Christian, but an anti-Christian. He could speak vilely of God, but respected my beliefs when he become aware of them. He would listen to me discuss it, but as far as I know he never accepted Christ as his savior. And yet in his behavior toward others he was one of the kindest, most helpful and generous people I've ever known. He died in 1995. I was unable to attend his funeral because I lived too far away. One of my friends told me that he had never seen so many people as he had at Fred's funeral. He said that probably 2/3's of the people he had no idea who they were but they all seemed to know and love Fred very much. He was amazed because he thought he knew all of Freds many friends.

I know that there are some fine Christian people out there, but it just amazes me when somebody like Fred can be a good friend to so many people and act like they really care.

Sorry for the digression, but your posts frequently make me start thinking a lot.

Tossing It Out