Proverbs 18:24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
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. An old hymn, What A Friend We Have In Jesus, was written by Joseph Scriven to describe his closest and best friend. He spent his entire life showing real friendship to others.
Joseph had wealth, education, a devoted family, and a pleasant life in his native Ireland. Then unexpected tragedy entered his life. On the night before his wedding, his fiancée drowned. In his deep sorrow, Joseph realized that he could find the solace and support he needed only in his dearest friend, Jesus.
Soon after this tragedy, Joseph 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. He became known as “the Good Samaritan of Port Hope”.
When his mother became ill in Ireland, he wrote a comforting letter to her, enclosing the words of his newly written poem with the prayer that these lines would remind her of a never-failing heavenly Friend. Later in his life, when he became ill, a friend who came to call on him happened to see a copy of these words scribbled on scratch paper near his bed. The friend read the lines and asked him who wrote such beautiful words. Joseph replied, “The Lord and I did it together”.
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.