We continue our thoughts on the poem of Joseph M. Scriven. His poem that later was put to music serves to encourage all who seek to follow God.
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.
Trials, temptations and troubles are a part of life (Job 14:1). Trials of life take on many forms. They might come in the form of persecution by those who do not believe in God and despise those who do, or a well-meaning brother who thinks he has all the answers but really does not even know the questions. It could be health related, or the loss of a job. Temptations often come in weak moments when the troubles of life have surrounded an individual. When those things occur, the Christian should heed the words of the Apostle Peter and cast all their care upon the Lord (1 Peter 5:7). Forgetting to do this would lead to discouragement, just as happened in the life of Elijah. Though he had been successful showing up the prophets of Baal, he felt he was the only one left standing for God. God showed him he was not alone. Discouragement will lead to forgetting one is not alone.
We have a friend who is willing to share all our sorrows and trials.
It needs to be remembered that the Lord knows everything about man — all the good qualities and weaknesses. Jesus told his disciples that God knew the number of the hairs of their head, and that God knew when a sparrow fell to the ground. He then told them they were of more value than sparrows. Christians are to work to strengthen themselves in the Lord (2 Peter 3:18), but even then, there still will be weaknesses, and that is when it is time to take those things to God through Jesus 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.
Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30). This friend always is there, waiting to comfort and uplift the one who is in need. He offers this compassion to everyone who will come to him.
What a friend we have in Jesus.
Editor’s Note: This column is part two of a two-part series.