The Best Friend…

Sometimes life has unexpected turns. The ‘wrong’ person is elected to office. We feel abandoned by those we thought would be there for us. A person we counted on as a friend, betrays us. Does this story sound familiar? Does it sound like yours? It might be, but I’m thinking of someone in history. A person that everyone thought would be a political rescuer, but then he was taken away, because those in power thought he was a fake and his best friends betrayed and abandoned him.

I know some people who have felt upset their candidate didn’t win the last presidential election, but there are others that feel theirs did. Is either one wrong? No, they just have different perspectives. I’m not going to choose one or make this political either, so don’t hold your breath. God can use any man or woman to get the outcome he wants. What he needs are people praying for those in leadership.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.

I have been betrayed by friends, and it hurts to the core. I had one friend of over a decade, who insisted I said something I didn’t. She wouldn’t listen to anything contrary to what she perceived, even though our conversation was in writing. How do you convince someone who puts words in your mouth that you never said, but what they think? When they’re accusing you of words in their mind, without any credibility? You don’t, because they’re operating out of a stubborn mindset that has turned against you.

So how do you handle the hurt they’ve caused you? “Let it go and let God” is the best advice I can offer. You never know why they treated you the way they did or what they might be dealing with internally, or in their private lives. They may be struggling with sin or hurt you can’t imagine. So let God heal and/or judge them and move on.

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44

Perhaps you’ve been or feel abandoned by your spouse, your parents, or a friend. I’m sorry for your hurt, but I know someone who can heal that hurt. It’s time to make friends with the best friend a person can have — Jesus. When I was single, several years ago, I moved to a new town. I had a very deep relationship with Jesus, he was and still is my best friend. I had a man ask me, who wanted to date me, “What are you looking for in a man?” I told him, “I’m not looking for a man, I have the only man I need in my life, his name is Jesus.” I wasn’t joking either. When we get to really know Jesus as a close personal friend, he becomes our everything. All the names you hear him described as, he is! He is our friend who sticks closer than a brother. He will never leave us, he told us that in his word and if you believe his word, then you should believe that he is always available. How is that for friendship?!

Hebrews 13:5 For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

touch hands

So, who in history has experienced all of these things and far greater heartache than we have? Jesus! The same Jesus who will never leave us, has been betrayed! He has been abandoned by his friends, he may have felt abandoned by his Father for a second, even though he knew his purpose. And though he was the King of Kings, (an unelected office) the religious leaders were too caught up in their own money scheming and greed to see him as the Messiah standing right before them! Would you recognize him today? I know we all think we would. The disciples were with him all the time and still had a problem recognizing him. We all think we are so dedicated in our hearts that we would never deny him like Peter did, or betray him like Judas for 30 pieces of Silver, or doubt him like Thomas, or not know him walking along the road to Emmaus, or mistake him for a gardener like Mary Magdalene did after he had risen? Would any of them be us? Or would we mistake him as a stranger?

What do we put before Jesus? Have we betrayed him by not believing in some part of his word? Parts that we aren’t quite comfortable with or don’t understand? Have we abandoned him by not spending time with him? Ouch! Got me there. Have we not made him the leader of our lives? Have we looked to religious leaders and political leaders as our saviors instead?

I pray that you make Jesus your leader and your best friend today. You won’t feel betrayed or abandoned or let down. Let him lead you as it says in Matthew:

Matthew 11:28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Memo to God

Memo: (Short for memorandum. meaning: to jot down by note something to be remembered and acted upon in the future, a reminder.)

Every day I am saddened by people I come in contact with who don’t know God… some who don’t know him at all and some who don’t know him well. They may know he exists, but they don’t take the time to get to know him and build a relationship with him. I am saddened by those who live in confusion and heartache; those who are lonely, depressed, and searching for something to fill a void in their lives. They are searching for something, and they settle for substitutes… Substitutes of relationships, jobs, hobbies, status, cars, clothes, houses, busyness, drugs, alcohol; anything that will give them temporary happiness. Then there are those who are so steeped in misery that they cannot recognize joy, because they have lived in a ‘poor me’ mentality for so long.

I also see people who think they know God, but to them he is only someone they call on when they need something — times when they’re ill or when something breaks down. Then they pray in memo fashion or they ask others who they feel ‘have a connection’ to God to pray for them. They don’t have a day-to-day relationship. When they are desperate and their substitutions don’t satisfy, they write God a memo, because they have a desire. Yes, they have desires and longings, but the true longing in everyone’s soul is fellowship with God. (Psalm 84:2) They have a one-way relationship to make requests, write notes to God, or to remind him of their desires. If they developed this into a two-way relationship, they would quit making demands and truly know fulfillment. It is only God who can fulfill all our needs.

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:19     You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! -John 14:13-14

Yes, we can go to God when we have a need and he will answer, but it is far better to build a relationship with God. God wants a relationship with us. He sings songs over us with songs of joy!! (Zephaniah 3:17)  He bends down to listen to us. (Psalm 116:2God so wanted to restore his relationship with man, that he sent Christ to redeem us. He sent us a tangible person to show us who he is, he sent a perfect man, without sin. Christ is God, in the form of man, He is a visible person for us to see and believe in an Almighty God. (Colossians 1:15)

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” -Revelation 3:20 /// So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. -Romans 5:11 /// You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. James 2:22-23

Open the door to God today, make a new start and follow God. Share a meal with him today by getting to know him and his deep, deep love for you. Then you can rejoice in your relationship and call him friend, because he already made provision for you to have an intimate relationship with him. Be the Friend of God! I pray this for your life today.