A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
In 1855 Joseph M. Scriven, an Irish poet, was living in Canada and his dear mother was living in Ireland. To comfort her at a time of special sorrow, Scriven penned the words to a famous hymn that you have probably sang many times, “What a Friend we Have in Jesus.”
The first verse to the famous hymn goes like this:
What a friend we have in Jesus; All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry; Everything to God in prayer!
Who is a friend? One dictionary defines a friend as “a person you know well and regard with great affection and trust (honor). In a world filled with shifting loyalties, where siblings turn against each other; where parents and children fail to see eye to eye; where spouses fall out of love or become mortal enemies; where friends fail to keep their promises; where opposing political ideologies tear countries apart, only Jesus remains. He is the glue that holds together; he is the steadfast friend who will stand by us even unto death.
In John 15:14-15, Jesus makes it clear that we are his friends, if we do what he commands us. He goes on to say, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing, but I have called you friends….” Jesus has called us friends, and what does he require of his friends? That we, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and will all your soul, and with all your strength and with all your mind; and Love your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27).” As we do what he commands, we will experience him as, “a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Doing what Jesus asks of us is not easy. In a sin-sick world, where loyalties shift constantly, and relationships go sour every now and then, we need a steadfast friend on our side. We need an encourager who will get us to the finish line. That friend is Jesus. You are probably tired of doing the right thing and feel like it is time to throw in the towel, let the words of this famous hymn encourage you to hold on. It is when we get to the end of our rope that Jesus takes over. Trust in the promise that he will never leave nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5); trust in the promise that he will never give you more that you can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13); trust in the promise that God has already given you victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57). What a friend you have in him!
Dear Jesus, thank you for being a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Thank you for reminding me to stop trying and instead rest in the victory that is already mine through Jesus Christ our Lord. I commit all the broken situations that I am facing to you now Lord. Have your own way in my life. Amen.