Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Thoughts on a Dear Sweet Hymn

Jesus! What a Friend for sinners! 
Jesus! Lover of my soul;
Friends may fail me, foes assail me, 
He, my Savior, makes me whole.

Does it not overwhelm you sometimes (because I know it does me) that Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith and the universe itself, can be a friend to us? A friend is someone we sit next to, talk with, laugh and cry with. Someone we tell all our secrets to and who we want to be near when we're happy or sad. Jesus is a friend to those that love Him and keep His commandments! He is that friend that sticks closer than a brother, that has love for us that is greater than all other love because He laid down His life for us....His friends. When I fully realize the grotesque nature of my sin I feel like Christ's I am the farthest thing from His holiness...something so foreign to His nature that all I can do is cower and hide myself from Him. But here is where the beauty of it all begins...He is a friend of sinners. Even when others desert me....people that I think are irreplaceable and unchangeable that would never disappoint me...there He is. He is my dearest friend who truly is, without a doubt, irreplaceable and unchangeable!!

Jesus! What a strength in weakness!
Let me hide myself in Him;
Tempted, tried, and sometimes failing,
He, my strength, my victory wins.

How hard we try in this life! It seems, even when everything is easy, there is such struggle attached to every action. We strive to be better, to gain more, to be more like Christ, to stop being like ourselves in our sin nature. But God has not made us perfect for a reason. Because when we are weak, He is strong. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. He delights to pick us up when we fall. He rejoices to finish the battle for us when we are battered and bloody. He desires for us to find our all in Him. He wants us to be hopeless so that we can find that He is the only hope for us!

Jesus! What a help in sorrow! 
While the billows over me roll,
Even when my heart is breaking,
He, my comfort, helps my soul.

Another thing this life is full of is heartache. Tears run like rivers and sorrow tugs at our very being half the time. Our darkest hours come when we least expect them and stay much longer than we would like. But it is in these times, when gloom shades us like a large oak tree blocking the sunshine, that Christ comes to give us Light and comfort. God has sent us the Holy Spirit to be the Comforter, but Jesus is the comfort. Nothing can soothe the heart that is broken like He whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light. He has gone before us, suffering many things so that He may not encourage us with sympathy only, but instead He may be empathetic. He knows firsthand what we are dealing with. 

Jesus! What a guide and keeper!
While the tempest still is high,
Storms about me, night over takes me,
He, my pilot, hears my cry.

Good times are such a joy to the Christian's heart! One can feel God's love so deeply and warmly and find so many things to be thankful for. Yet, it is in the storms, when His love is needed the most, that His goodness is even deeper and richer than ever before. Knowing that He keeps us and protects us from the storm like a mother hen with her chicks under her wing is such a precious thought! When winds are wailing, lightening clashing, and thunder roaring; our cries for help sometimes are swallowed up and it seems that they are never heard. But we may rest assured and know that Christ, though He may be sleeping down below in the bowels of the boat, has the power to immediately calm the storm in His perfect time

Jesus! I do now receive Him,
More than all in Him I find,
He hath granted me forgiveness,
I am His, and He is mine.

Being someone's friend is a great joy and privilege. Having ownership over a person is something infinitely more intimate altogether. When a man and a woman are married, they belong to one another and they become one flesh. So it is with Christ's children. When we receive His forgiveness we become His and He in turn becomes ours. It is so glorious to know that He belongs to us but I find it even more wonderful that I belong to Him. The fact that He has cleansed me so greatly that I am worthy to be owned by Him is overwhelming and unbelievable. And yet I believe it. I believe it with all my heart because it is true. It is the dearest truth that I have ever known and will ever know as long as I shall live on this earth. I cannot say forever because I know that everlasting life with Christ awaits me and I may learn things so much higher and greater that cannot be imagined here on earth. For of course you know, "more than all in Him I find."

Therefore I can say:

Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Hallelujah! What a Friend!
Saving, helping, keeping, loving,
He is with me to the end.


All italicized text by J. Wilbur Chapman, 1910 


Rachel Leigh Greene said...

What glorious truth!!! Thanks for sharing, dear friend :)

Jessica Shae said...

So good Allix! And it's really well written :) Thanks for the encouragement! :)