• 28
  • 28
  • 28
  • 28

Pastor David's Thought for the Week

by Pastor David Alexander
Pastor David's Thought for the Week

I love old hymns. 

I know that part of the reason why is that I cannot remember a time in my life when I did not know them. They are the words and the tunes that are an inseparable part of my own story. 

One of the things our staff enjoys is how often they hear me whistling, singing, or even humming one of the new songs we sing or one of those old hymns I love. 

I still haven’t figured out if their laughter is because they are amused by this habit or they just don’t think I can sing, hum or whistle very well.

One of those old hymns that has been stuck in my head these past few weeks is, What a Friend We Have in Jesus. If you’ve not heard it before, you can listen to a beautiful version of it by visiting this link

Even if you know the song, I would encourage you to take the time to listen to that today. 

Each verse of this hymn can be found at the bottom of today’s note, but I want to highlight this verse today. 

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!

Most often when I find myself singing, humming or whistling a tune, I seem to do so without even thinking about it. Many times I am not even aware of what song is coming out until someone has a comment about it. 

But I have come to believe that this is more than a random occurrence. 

I now understand this to be the Holy Spirit speaking by placing that song on my heart. 

So why has this song been on my heart? That’s the question I have to ask and in this particular verse what is most striking to me are these two things: 

  • What an incredible “privilege” it is to “carry everything to God in prayer.” 
  • The “peace we often forfeit” and the “needless pain we bear” when we forget this great privilege. 

Think of the power of those two phrases. 

The implication is that there is peace readily available that we fail to receive which leads to an incredible amount of needless pain we experience in our lives. 

That, my friends, is an astonishing thought. 

We are so busy looking for peace we don’t even recognize that - in Christ - peace has already found us. And so much of the pain in our life finds healing when we bring to God the great weight we are carrying and share that burden with Him. 

We really do have a friend in Jesus. 
Only he can bring peace. 
All our pain finds healing in Him. 

If the Holy Spirit is the one who placed this song on my heart then surely God must be speaking this word into my life right now. 

“Bring it to Jesus, David.” 

I wonder if God might be speaking this same word in your life today. 

I love you and I am proud of you, 
Pastor David

What a Friend We Have in Jesus
By Joseph M. Scriven 
(click here to learn more about the writing of this hymn.)

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.
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 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.
Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer - 
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.