Give me a word, Lord: A FRIEND INDEED

John 15:13-14 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.

Friendship is truly a precious gift from God. Everyone desires friendship so much so that the world of social media is making millions of dollars by making internet friend connections. Facebook has over 2.74 billion monthly users, Twitter has 330 million, and Instagram has another billion. Those numbers are astronomical, and it shows us that this world is a world full of people who desire friendships. As I think about all of the wonderful friendships that I have held so dear over the years, there is one friendship that stands out above them all: my friendship with Jesus! There is an old hymn that I have probably sang since my earlier years called What a Friend We Have in Jesus written by Joseph M. Seriven. Today, I’d like to focus on the lyrics to this wonderful old hymn:

What a friend we have in Jesus. All our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer. Oh, what peace we often forfeit. Oh, what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged. Take it to the Lord in prayer. Can we find a friend so faithful? Who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness. Take it to the Lord in prayer.

As a young child singing this song, I’ll admit that it was hard to fathom this relationship with Jesus. This Jesus that we sang about sounded pretty amazing, but how in the world could I carry everything to Him? I didn’t know where to find Him. I couldn’t see this friend called Jesus. In my childhood days, I knew who He was because I had been in church since my birth. I had heard about Him, but I didn’t really know Him. But as I grew older, I learned that this Jesus friend we sang about all of those years was a friend indeed! He became my best friend.

God has blessed me with some truly wonderful friends through the years. Some friendships lasted but a season, however, some of the truest friendships which budded during my childhood continue through to this day. There are people that God has placed in my life that I can truly count on. There are friends who are there to listen when I need to rant, who lend a shoulder when I need to cry, and who encourage me when I am feeling down, I thank God for these people who are an irreplaceable part of me. God knew I would need these friends, and He provided them for me…each and every one at just the right time. But more importantly than all of the wonderful friends that I have been blessed with over the years, God gave me Jesus. He gave me the truest of all friends. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. (John 15:13-14)

Yes, Jesus came to earth as fully man and fully God, and He laid His life down for each and every one of us. There is no greater love than that. Jesus is the very best kind of friend to have. He bore all of our sins and griefs that day on that old, rugged cross, and because of this amazingly unselfish act of love, we have the privilege to bring everything to God in prayer. Privilege is a right or a benefit. We have the right to bring everything to God in prayer. Isn’t that amazing? And it is all because we have this wonderful friend called Jesus. With Jesus as our Savior, we don’t have to forfeit peace or bear pain. It is true that we will have trials and temptations. Oh, my friends, we see trouble everywhere we look, but with Jesus, we don’t have to handle any of the these things alone. We can take all of our burdens straight to the cross. We can put everything at the feet of our Lord and Savior. There truly is no friend as faithful. He knows our weaknesses, and He gives us His strength. He loves us so much more than we can ever comprehend.

What a friend we have in Jesus! He is a true friend indeed. Do you have a personal relationship with this Jesus? If not, I beg you to get to know Him today. You won’t regret it for even a second. Give your pain and sorrow, trials and temptations, and trouble to Him today. He will give you peace like you have never known. He is a friend indeed when you are in need, and if you don’t have Him in your heart, you are a friend in need!

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