Thursday, November 02, 2023

Everybody needs a friend


All photos courtesy of Unsplash


Maybe it is not so amazing, but usually, when everything is going well and the world is your oyster, we have plenty of friends? Many are willing to help as long as you do not need too much! Others are willing to listen if you are not too depressing but when the chips are down, often such friends are ‘posted missing’. 


Three things mark a true friend: a compassionate heart, a strong shoulder and a listening ear. Such friends are scarce, but if you have one, thank God for them, for they are like gold dust. Yet even the best of friends have their limits. They can sympathise, and they are also available, but they do have a life of their own, and sometimes they need the help that they so readily give to others. Perhaps you are thinking, 'Is there any other kind of friend?' the answer is ‘Yes’. There is one who has a heart full of compassion, and you mean so much to Him. He will never turn you away, and He never tires of listening to your cry. His shoulder is certainly strong, for He is able to carry you when you feel you cannot take another step. He can also lift you up when you have either fallen down, or others have knocked you down. Furthermore, He is able to change your circumstances or your outlook so that things do not seem as bad as they first appeared. Best of all, He will be with you whether you’re ‘on top of the world’ or you feel the ‘world is on top of you’.

Someone may say, 'Why would He be interested, for nobody cares about me?' If that is what you think, then you are wrong, for this friend cared so much that He gave His life for you, and no one loves you quite like Him. His name is Jesus, and He is God’s Son who came into this world to seek and save those who were lost and lonely.


You may ask, ‘Why did He die?’ And the answer is simple. The wrong things that we do (which to us perhaps seem insignificant, especially when you look at the awful things other people do) are a major problem to Him. All sin, small or great, offends His Father God, who has pledged that sin and sinners must and will be punished for ‘the soul that sinneth shall die’. So He (The Lord Jesus) came into the world to save sinners. He took the punishment that we deserved so that God could forgive us (and be right and fair at the same time).


You ask me, ‘How are you so sure?’ My response would be, 'He is my friend and has been for almost 50 years'. I have depended on Him in times of sadness and bereavement and loneliness and despair, and He has never let me down in all that time. 


If you admit to God that you have sinned (just where you are just now, stop and pray) and accept the sinner’s Saviour, you, too, will enjoy a friendship that will outlast time itself and remain with you throughout the great eternity.


What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief to bear

What a privilege to carry everything to Him in prayer

O what peace we often forfeit O what needless pain we bear

All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Written by a dear friend of mine who is now living in Heaven - Ian Affleck


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