“WHAT A FRIEND”: GRACE & HOPE

Matt Maher is a contemporary Christian singer, musician, songwriter, and worship leader. He has written hundreds of songs and co–authored others that have blessed me by sharing hope.

A five-time GRAMMY nominee, Maher has written and recorded songs that have blessed many including “Lord, I Need You,” “Hold Us Together,” “Christ Is Risen,” “All The People Said Amen” and “Your Grace Is Enough.”

One song Maher co-wrote  that has blessed me is What A Friend. This song reminds us of God’s grace, and that gives me hope. Thanks, Matt Maher, Adam Palmer, Matthew Hein, and Abbie Parker for sharing its truth. Thank You, God, for the truth of its lyrics and for Your grace.

If you need a true best friend forever, read the lyrics below then find and listen to this song. Be touched by grace and hope.

WHAT A FRIEND

Everybody has trials and temptations.
Everybody knows heart break, isolation.
But we can lay our burdens down (our burdens down),
Lay our burdens down.

What a friend we have in Jesus.
East to west my sins are gone.
I see grace on every horizon,
And forever and ever His heart is my home.

Everybody has fears; everybody got worries.
Everybody knows sorrow, devastation.
But we can lay our burdens down (our burdens down),
Lay our burdens down.

What a friend we have in Jesus.
East to west my sins are gone.
I see grace on every horizon,
And forever and ever His heart is my home.

No more betrayal for He is faithful.
He fills me up, and my cup runneth over.
No more betrayal for He is faithful.
How He has proven it over and over.

No more betrayal for He is faithful.
He fills me up, and my cup runneth over.
No more betrayal for He is faithful.
How He has proven it over and over, over and over.

What a friend we have in Jesus.
East to west my sins are gone.
I see grace on every horizon,
And forever and ever His heart is my home.

What a friend we have in Jesus.
East to west my sins are gone, yeah.
I see grace on every horizon,
And forever and ever His heart is my home.

Forever and ever His heart is my home.”
(Written by Maher, Palmer, Hein, and Parker)

What better friend can I find than the One Who brings grace and hope to my heart? He is the One Who forever and ever His heart is my home!

 

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
(Psalm 103: 12)

“A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
(Proverbs 18: 24)

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1: 14)

being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.
(Romans 3: 24)

And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.'”
(2 Corinthians 12: 9)

Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope  completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
(1 Peter 1: 13)

 

WESLEY’S FAITH: COMFORT & HOPE

There is a quote by John Wesley that reveals his strong faith and trust in the Lord God:  “I have never known more than fifteen minutes of anxiety or fear. Whenever I feel fearful emotions overtaking me, I just close my eyes and thank God that He is still on the throne reigning over everything, and I take comfort in His control over the affairs of my life.”  (John Wesley, 1703-1791)

Wesley’s faith and trust gave him comfort.  When I live by faith and trust in the Sovereign Lord, it gives me comfort and hope. Wesley’s life of successfully walking with God makes me want to follow his example of always trusting the One Who is on His throne. It is important to remember it is His throne not mine or yours.

Anxiety and fear are very prevalent in our world today. No one wants to live beneath the weight of fear or anxiety. I believe that Wesley’s faith is the solution to those problems and will work for any of God’s children. The key is to know that I am His child then make a conscious decision to trust Him and exercise faith with which He gifted me.

If one wants to replace fear and anxiety with  comfort and hope, then follow Wesley’s example. Accept God’s salvation through Jesus Christ to be born again into God’s family and experience His forgiveness. Receive His Holy Spirit Who will give comfort and hope. Life here will be better, and a heavenly home in the life-to-come will be so glorious that we can only imagine!

 

But I have trusted in Your faithfulness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.” 
(Psalm 13:5)

“The LORD has established 

His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all.” 
(Psalm 103:19)

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” 
(Romans 15:13)

“For our citizenship is in heaven from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; Who will transform the body of our lowly condition into conformity with His
glorious body, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”
(Philippians 3:20-21)

“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”  (1 John 5:23)

"I can only imagine 
when that day comes,
When I find myself 
standing in the Son.
I can only imagine 
when all I would do 
is forever,
Forever worship You.
I can only imagine,
I can only imagine." 
(from the song,"I 
Can Only Imagine," 
written by Bart 
Millard and recorded 
by MercyMe)

REMEMBER SEPTEMBER 11, 2001: THERE IS HOPE

Today marks the twenty-year anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil that took the lives of thousands and changed the lives of the rest of us. We remember September 11, 2001, one of the darkest days in the history of the United States. It was a day when intentional violence and death was inflicted against fellow human beings that left hurting and broken hearts throughout our nation and among our allies around the world.

For Americans who experienced that day, we remember 9/11/2001, as an emotional time marked by fear, sadness, despair, anger… even hatred because of the huge loss of innocent lives. Some may have lost hope, but in the midst of such suffering, still there is hope if one knows in Whom to trust.

On that day and days following we witnessed innumerable  examples of heroism, patriotism, bravery, and compassion. The best of the human spirit shone forth after evidence of the worst of the human spirit. Lives were saved that can only be explained by the grace and providence of a loving Sovereign God. Feelings of peace to gradually comfort the deep personal sorrow of those who lost loved ones became real to many. Hope brings healing and is found when God’s people look to Him for help even in the midst of the worst storms — and continues even after twenty years. Surely remembering experiences rooted in hope is  better than harboring roots of bitterness.

What caused the evil that deliberately struck America on that tragic day? It was ultimately caused by demonic forces that rule rebellious hearts of sinful humans. I believe our nation is right to defend and protect, but humans who war even for right reasons must also act in righteousness. War is necessary to stand against terrorists — forces of darkness — which must be stopped.

Light is the only effective weapon against the darkness of evil. If America is led by the Light and the Glory of God upon which it was founded, we will stand as the land of the free. If we continue to replace godly principles with ungodly living, then we will not.

Judgment is real when God’s people ignore His warnings. Today we risk losing everything we hold dear. Will America heed God’s warnings and know His forgiveness and healing or be condemned to fall amid future tragedies?

Lest anyone considers this to be a hopeless message, realize there is hope always if we repent and follow Biblical instructions. God’s promises are found throughout Scriptures, including 2 Chronicles 7:14:  “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

 

See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.” 
(Hebrews 12:15)

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  (Ephesians 6:12)

“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness but will have the Light of life.”  (John 8:12)

OUR GREATEST ADVOCATE:  OUR ONLY HOPE

Many of us are praying for covid patients all around the world as well as for those much closer to home. Many have prayed during recuperation of a loved one and some perhaps even at the time he or she passed from this life into the Savior’s presence.

It is then that the Holy Spirit surely intercedes and prays for that which is needed. We pray for healing and then trust that prayers are always answered according to God’s purpose.

Sometimes our loved ones receive ultimate healing — no more sickness, no more pain, no more weakness, no more infection… ever again. Everything God does — including healing — is for His glory and for our ultimate good.

When passed into heaven our loved one becomes perfectly whole and well — and waiting for a reunion with loved ones. This may come soon as Time seems to be winding down toward the Lord’s return.

May God’s comfort, peace, and strength help grieving families through times of huge loss, and may joy of precious memories and thankfulness of times shared gradually overtake the deep pain and overwhelming grief. May anticipation of a future reunion become a greater reality in hearts and minds.

Everything God does has purpose, and He wants His children to trust Him in all things — even loss of loved ones.

There is an essential condition for a future reunion. We must be adopted as God’s children, joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Be sure you are God’s child, that you have accepted His free gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ, and be sure your loved ones have the opportunity to choose that relationship with Him.

For those who have suffered loss, I pray for your needs: peace, comfort, strength, perseverance to keep praying, healing of a broken heart, faith to trust God. Whatever comes into our lives may we continue to pray and trust God, Who is our greatest advocate  and our only hope.

 

“…But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
(Romans 8: 11)

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He Who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”  (Romans 8: 26 – 28)

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?”  (Romans 8: 31)

“that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”  (Romans 10: 9, 10)

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works so that no one may boast.”  (Ephesians 2: 8, 9)

“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”  (1 John 5: 13)

“When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll,
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well, it is well with my soul.'” 
(Horatio Spafford)