Over the years I have come to realize that finding a real friend is not easy. Surely a real friend is more than just being on someone’s Facebook page at the click of a mouse. A friend is a lot more than a casual acquaintance you see at school or work. It is much more than being around someone you work with or walk past at school in the hallways between classes. It is much more than living in the same neighborhood. Finding real friends can be challenging at times.
When I was a kid, my friends were people I spent time with over many years. I knew all of them personally. We grew up in the same neighborhood, spent time together on camping trips, Cub Scout events, played on the same sports teams at school and did our homework at each other’s house once in a while. My friends were people I knew I could count on. If I had a problem or they needed me, we would be there for each other one way or another.
As our culture has changed, so too has the concept of friendship. Few of us live in the same neighborhoods or towns most of our lives. People tend to move around a lot more now and it seems harder to put down personal roots into the lives of others. Because we don’t always know people as well, it can be more difficult to know if we have friends that would stand with us when the BIG battles of life come up to test those friendships.
If we are blessed to have a few real friends in our lives, it is even harder to find or choose a best friend. Many people do not have a best friend…maybe most of us. It’s not easy to sort through our friends and find that one, unique person that stands out beyond all the others. IF we have a best friend, that person would surely be special on many levels. They would have to have demonstrated something amazing for us to give them the label……”My Best Friend.” If we have that “Best Friend” we have been given an amazing gift.
Now the surprise and joy of life is the wonderful news that the Lord designed our lives so we could be His Best Friend. When we discover that truth everything changes. That’s the discovery of discoveries, the real, solid gold of life. God is our Best Friend….Hallelujah! The message of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is that God is our best friend and always has been…….and always will be forever. In the Old Testament, the Lord spoke to Moses like one does to a friend (Exodus 33:11). That is the exact same way our Lord Jesus Christ spoke to His disciples in the New Testament (John 15:15). The Lord Jesus Christ was and is the God of the Bible, a Best Friend to sinners. This deep, abiding friendship with us has always been God’s heart toward His people, whether people understood it or not.
Not only is Jesus our Best Friend, but He also laid down His life for us because we were His friends (John 15:15). That is the core of the Christian Faith. Our Lord embraced the Cross for us because He was our Best Friend. Jesus endured the Cross and the Hell it represented when He cried out in a loud voice, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me.” (Matthew 27:46) Our Lord took our Hell that day, as the judgment for our sins came upon Him. Even the Apostle’s Creed picks up this truth when it states, “He descended into Hell.” The historic Church’s Confession of Faith celebrates the belief that the Lord Jesus Christ went to Hell for us so we could be free from it, in order to live a new life of friendship with Him forever.
Every Christian has the privilege of saying that the Lord Jesus Christ is our Best Friend. That may be hard for some to say, but it remains true, however we feel. Our Lord suffered our Hell. Our Lord is the True Best Friend we have all been looking for in life. What a Friend we have in Jesus. There is no better news in this life or the next. Believe it, live it, enjoy it and celebrate it forever.