“You are like an unfaithful wife who loves her husband’s enemies. Don’t you realize that making friends with God’s enemies – the evil pleasures of this world - makes you an enemy of God? I say it again, that if your aim is to enjoy the evil pleasure of the unsaved world, you cannot also be a friend of God” (TLB) James 4:4
I was far away from the concept of love when I met the man named Jesus. For me, it felt like all I knew and believed was hatred, resentment and being abandoned. So, when the man Jesus offered to help, it sounded weird but I was too much engrossed in myself to care for what he would do with my life. I watched as he transformed my life from grass to grace. And today, I can say “I am blessed”. Obviously, I haven’t achieved all my goals in life but I am sure not where I used to be. I am far from my past challenges and sins.
We all have been offered one help or the other from Jesus. I believe some of you have been declared cancer patients and having limited time to live, some of you were also orphans living from hand to mouth when you met Jesus. And others school dropouts with no future. People may have laughed at you and declared you a failure even when you had not been given the chance. You were probably singled out among your peers and branded old fashioned. I am sure you were called incompetent and useless but you gave it your shot anyways with Jesus.
Some of you had no hope of any better future, whilst some others also met him in tears, frustrated and needing answers to questions that you were theologically thrown aback with. In all these and more that you found yourself in, Jesus made the difference. Today you can look back and say “well I am no longer who I used to be. I am no longer that sinner who despised God’s word. I no longer wine and dine with the world. I am no longer the enemy of God I used to be”. You can say “I am highly favored and blessed”. You can say “Jesus really made my life beautiful”. You can say “I am doing well by God’s grace”.
Surely the journey may not have been easy nor smooth as you desired but you can say he surely got your back every time it got tough. If you can say this then prepare for a victory song soon. If you strongly believe that your friendship with Christ has been worth the trust then tell someone about it; make a joyful sound of his goodness and make this end of the year; a memorable moment of telling others of his unfailing love, goodness and mercy.
I may not know what drove you to a relationship with Christ but I believe Jesus has been a faithful friend to you as he has been to countless others since time immemorial. The following versions of Proverbs 18:24 bring to light the worth of Jesus’s friendship.
a) One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (NIV).
b) There are friends who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother (NLT).
Let’s remember that anything that holds our heart and becomes our friend other than Christ is unreliable and can destroy us because that’s what most friends in the world do. But friendship with Christ is a through thick and thin affair. It is true, reliable and lasts forever. May Christ be the friend you desire. Amen.