Have you ever heard the classic hymn, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus"? It's a powerful and comforting song that has touched the hearts of millions of people around the world. But have you ever wondered about the person behind the lyrics? Well, let me introduce you to Joseph M. Scriven, the man responsible for this timeless hymn.
Joseph M. Scriven was born in 1819 in Banbridge, County Down, Ireland. He grew up in a devout Christian family and was deeply influenced by his mother's faith. As a young man, Scriven had a deep desire to serve God and felt a calling to become a missionary. However, his plans were altered when tragedy struck.
In 1844, just a day before his wedding, Scriven's fiancée drowned in a tragic accident. This devastating loss plunged him into a deep depression and changed the course of his life forever. Scriven decided to dedicate his life to serving others and became known for his acts of kindness and generosity.
Throughout his life, Scriven faced many hardships and trials. He struggled with poor health and financial difficulties, but through it all, he never lost his faith. It was during one of these difficult times that he penned the lyrics to "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."
The story goes that Scriven wrote the hymn as a poem to comfort his sick mother who lived far away. He wanted to remind her of the deep love and friendship they shared, as well as the unwavering love of Jesus. Little did he know that his simple poem would become a beloved hymn that would bring comfort to countless people for generations to come.
"What a Friend We Have in Jesus" was first published in 1855 in a small Canadian hymnal. It quickly gained popularity and became a favorite among Christians worldwide. The hymn speaks of the peace and comfort that can be found in Jesus, especially in times of trouble. Its simple yet profound lyrics resonate with people from all walks of life and have made it a staple in church services and gatherings.
Over the years, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" has been recorded by numerous artists and featured on various albums. It has also been performed at countless events and gatherings, touching the hearts of people from all backgrounds. The hymn's timeless message of hope and love continues to inspire and uplift listeners to this day.
In recognition of its enduring impact, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" has received several awards and accolades. It has been included in various hymnals and is widely regarded as one of the greatest hymns of all time. It has also been covered by renowned artists such as Alan Jackson, Mahalia Jackson, and even actor Dennis Quaid.
Joseph M. Scriven lived a humble and selfless life, dedicated to serving others and sharing the love of Christ through his words and actions. His legacy lives on through the hymn that continues to bring comfort and encouragement to millions of people around the world.
So the next time you sing "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," take a moment to reflect on the life of Joseph M. Scriven, the man whose words have touched the hearts of so many. Let his story inspire you to find strength and solace in the unfailing love of Jesus, just as he did during his darkest days.