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I HAVE FOUND A FRIEND IN JESUS
"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you" (John 15:15 NIV).
The hymn "I have found a friend in Jesus" also known as "The Lily of the Valley" is one of my favourite hymns. Little is known about the history of the hymn apart from the fact that it was composed by William Charles Fry (1837–1882) in Lincoln, England, while working with the Salvation Army. Fry declared that he had found a friend in Jesus because He is everything to him. He compared Jesus to the lily of the valley, the "Beloved" in the Song of Songs' love characters (Song of Songs 2:1). Undoubtedly, this lily of the valley symbolizes the sweetness, purity, fruitfulness, humility, and healing qualities of Jesus Christ. Fry could see only in Jesus all he needed to be cleansed and be made fully whole. He declared that Jesus was his comfort in sorrow and in trouble because Jesus has told him to roll every care on Him for He cares. Jesus is indeed "the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star, He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul."
Apart from William Charles Fry's declaration in that hymn, Jesus Christ Himself chose everyone who accepts Him as friend and He did not only promise to do many things for His friends, He did lay down His life as a ransom for His friends (see John 15:13; Ephesians 5:2; Romans 5:6-8; 1 Timothy 2:6). As a friend of Jesus, anyone who accepts Him as his Saviour and Lord will learn many things from Him (John 15:15), in fact, Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, will reveal many mysteries to him (Ephesians 1:9; 3:5; Colossians 1:26). Such a friend will have direct access to the throne of grace to approach God without any intermediary except Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16; 8:6; 9:15; 12:24; 1 John 2:1). In fact, He "...is a friend who sticks closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24 NIV).
Fry continued in his hymn to testify more about this great Friend who has taken his grief, borne all his sorrows, and has become his strong and mighty tower in temptation. He declared that though all the world forsakes him, and Satan painfully tempts him, he would safely reach the heavenly goal through Jesus. Therefore, he forsook all from his heart for Him. He also testified that Jesus will never, never leave him, nor yet forsake him here, that as he lived by faith and did the will of Jesus, Jesus would be a wall of fire around him. So, he would have nothing to fear, for from Jesus' manna He shall fill his hungry soul. Indeed, he found a great Friend in Jesus!
Have you found such a Friend in Jesus Christ? Can you confess like William Charles Fry that Jesus Christ is everything to you? Invite Him into your life today and allow Him to take total control of your life. You will really enjoy Him!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).