what a friend we have in Jesus

I wrote an article a few weeks back about the death of Matthew Perry from the TV show, “FRIENDS.” Then I did a talk at church about suicide and wrote about that in another article. I was putting some ideas together, “connecting dots,” and thinking about the death of a friend and the depth of relationships and one major cause of suicide is “no hope” and loneliness. I was thinking about intimacy in relationships and, “a friend that sticks closer to you than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).” Do you have a friend? How deep are your friendships with others?

Some say it’s hard today for men to have and be friends with one another, and maybe women as well. How many true, deep, lasting friendships with other people do you have? And social media hasn’t helped, we are more connected but disconnected than ever in our world of pins, posts, tweets, likes, and snaps. Technology has not helped our face-to-face communication. And now we have AI and computer friends, which don’t count. I’m talking about “skin on skin, boots on the ground, in the foxhole, you got my back and I got yours” friends. I don’t think this happens so much, as even the NIH reports up to 80% of people polled say loneliness and lack of friends is a real problem in their lives.

David looked to God as his friend. He was alone, in the desert, on the run from his enemies. He longed for God in Psalm 63, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” He praised God for His steadfast love that is better than life. His soul was satisfied with the friendship and presence of God. He went to bed thinking of God and dreaming of Him throughout the night. God was his help and He upheld David in the worst of times. He clinged to God and God met Him every step of the way. Could you have a better friend?

This world is dry and tiresome and will leave you thirsty every time. Where are you looking for joy, refreshment, and life? Sure there are some fleeting pleasures – a good meal, perhaps, or some time with the grandchildren. But God’s steadfast love is better than life itself. Only God’s power and glory will satisfy your deepest needs and longings. He is that friend, who even gives His life so that you, an enemy, may be saved. Relationship with God as a friend comes through the greatest friend anyone could have: Jesus. Jesus said in John 15, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” What a friend we have in Jesus!

Are you God’s friend? Is He your friend? What are some benefits of your friendship with God? Do you need to make some changes to your daily schedule to make more room for friendship with God? How will you do this? If you were to write a letter to God, expressing how much you miss Him, how important He is to you, and the value of your friendship, what would you say? God is an ever-present help in times of trouble, and He is the friend that sticks closer than a brother.