What Is a Friend? Do You Have One?
A friend is one who loves and accepts you the way you are. One who not only sees where you are but also sees what you can become. One who knows you at your worst but helps you to become your best. That is a friend.
A friend is a treasure. And we all need friendships. Jesus made an impressive claim, when He said, “…. I have called you friends.” (John 15:15b)
In these days of growing social media sweeping our world, you could find yourself more personally isolated. Recently an article warned: “Those who substitute interaction with physical real-world friends, for online virtual friends become lonelier and more depressive than others.”
Regardless of technology, most of us encounter seasons of loneliness, wondering if anyone knows, or even cares about the burdens we carry or the struggles we face.
I am reminded of a painful time in the life of Paul, the apostle. He was confined to a cold, Roman prison cell. He knew that death was imminent. He had devoted much of his life to teaching, training and winning souls for Jesus Christ. But now, he stood alone, bereft of friends. Unsupported by colleagues during his trial and sentencing. Loneliness must have been overwhelming.
What inspired him during this trying time in his life? He had the assurance of the friendship of Jesus that gave him strength and comfort to persevere. His memory bank would also remind him of previous times in his life when Christ had intervened. For instance, years before when facing a storm at sea, Paul had received a vision, telling him not to fear of perishing. Though the ship ran aground, no lives were lost. (Acts 27: 22 -24)
For those who enjoy friendship with Jesus, His promise of never leaving you or abandoning you applies – even when everyone else forsakes you. Today you may find yourself isolated by cultural trends that restrict you, by poor choices in your past history, or by the painful loss of a loved one. However, all who have encountered Christ, can rest in the assurance of that Friend who never fails. In knowing Jesus as your Friend, you are never alone.