Closer Than a Brother

Proverbs 18:24
. . . there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

What a Friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry Ev'rything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry Ev'rything 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.
-Joseph Scriven, written 1855

Joseph Scriven knew heartache and devastation first hand. As a young man his hopes and dreams vanished on the day before his wedding when he watched in horror as the lifeless body of his beloved was pulled from the water where she had drowned. Sorrow overwhelmed him, yet in the months and years that followed, Scriven turned repeatedly to the only Friend who would never leave him. Although he battled loneliness and depression for the rest of his life, he never let go of the hand of his Savior. Scriven knew that Jesus cared and that He was acquainted with loneliness and sorrow. This man knew that he could take his grief to Jesus and find strength and peace that no one else could give. Years later Scriven took what he had learned through his pain and put it into the words of a poem that we now sing as "What A Friend We Have In Jesus."

My friend, in your moments of trial, temptation and hardship, turn to the Friend who is always there. Listen to His words as He speaks to you through the Scriptures. Be honest with God and with yourself about your thoughts and feelings. Spend time in prayer and experience the comfort of His presence. Seek His forgiveness when you stray from Him and His ways. Be encouraged as you remember that no matter what happens, He will not leave you. He will not abandon you. Let Him hug you close to His heart. Rest in Him and find peace for He truly is a Friend that sticks closer than a brother!

Lord Jesus, thank You for always being there when I need a friend. Even when I cannot see Your hand at work, let me feel the warmth of Your love.

By Ann Shorb
©Copyright Ann Shorb, 2006

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Related articles and devotionals:
You Know I Love You
God's Love Forgives
No Greater Love
Ask and You Shall Receive

Anxious for NothingAnxious for Nothing: God's Cure for the Cares of Your Soul
By John MacArthur / Cook Communications

So many things to worry about and so little time to worry! As a Christian, you're not immune to the troubles of life, and when troubles come, you're urged to rise above them and experience "peace that passes understanding." But how, in day-to-day life, does that really happen? In Anxious for Nothing, John MacArthur directs you to the only true source of comfort and victory - Scripture. Complete with a Reader's Guide for personal reflection or group discussion, you'll learn to cast your cares on God, deal with difficult people, live without complaining, and be content. Previously published as Anxiety Attacked.