NO ONE UNDERSTANDS LIKE JESUS
Words and Music by John W. Peterson, 1921–
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:15, 16)
Since World War II, the name John W. Peterson has become synonymous with fine gospel music. Over 1,000 gospel songs and hymns, as well as many other musical works such as cantatas, anthems, choral arrangements, and gospel film musicales, have been written by this gifted and dedicated composer. Mr. Peterson gave this account of “No One Understands Like Jesus,” written during the early years of his ministry:
At one time I had a fairly responsible position with a well-known gospel ministry. One day a supervisory position opened up in my department. I was led to believe that I was to be promoted to this position. I was thrilled and challenged by the prospect of a new job. But I was by-passed, and a man from the outside was brought in to fill the position. There followed days of agonizing heart searching. It was all I could do to keep from becoming bitter. One night I had occasion to spend an evening with the man who was brought in for “my” position. For some reason or other, though otherwise a very pleasant fellow, that night he became quite caustic in some of his remarks to me, and I was deeply hurt. Later that evening, after returning home, I was sitting in our living room thinking about the events of the past days and about the bitter experiences of that evening. I began to feel very alone and forsaken. Suddenly, I sensed the presence of the Lord in an unusual way and my mind was diverted from my difficulties to His faithfulness and sufficiency. Soon the thought occurred to me that He fully understood and sympathized with my situation—in fact, no one could ever completely understand or care as did He. Before long, the idea for the song came and I began to write—
No one understands like Jesus. He’s a friend beyond compare; meet Him at the throne of mercy; He is waiting for you there.
No one understands like Jesus; ev’ry woe He sees and feels; tenderly He whispers comfort, and the broken heart He heals.
No one understands like Jesus when the foes of life assail; you should never be discouraged; Jesus cares and will not fail.
No one understands like Jesus when you falter on the way; tho you fail Him, sadly fail Him, He will pardon you today.
Refrain: No one understands like Jesus when the days are dark and grim; no one is so near, so dear as Jesus—Cast your ev’ry care on Him.
For Today: Job 23:10; Psalm 112:7; 131:2; 139:2; Proverbs 14:26
Learn to handle human disappointments and rejection even as Joseph did by realizing this truth—“they meant it for harm, the Lord meant it for good” (Genesis 50:19, 20). Be thankful for Jesus who understands and will never disappoint. Sing as you go realizing that—