There’s an old hymn that says we have a friend in Jesus and that He bears our pain, grief and sorrows. That is one aspect of friendship that’s so vital to our feeling that we are not alone and that we are supported no matter what is going on in our lives.
What’s sad is that people tend to abandon those that are in some sort of emotional pain or who are going through a hard time in life. So many have experienced people being there for them in the beginning of a crisis, but, as time goes on, they find themselves literally unsupported in dealing with daily tough times. The visits stop. The phone calls stop. The encouraging cards and notes stop or slow down to a trickle. It’s like people don’t have room in their lives for lives that aren’t going well in spite of the determination to push through and endure. Like with Job’s situation, those that call themselves friends move on to become accusers and discouragers because the hard times don’t change or go away. They try to “help” you by insisting that there’s something spiritually wrong even when your relationship is right with God just like Job’s was. Those of us who have had to endure truly tough times know what it feels like to hear words of discouragement come our way.
That’s where our connection to Jesus and internalizing His promise to never leave or forsake us comes in. He knows what we are going through because He had a very hard life when He lived among us. He was scorned, ridiculed and mistakenly called and labeled a bastard because people could not look beyond the physical as far as His birth circumstances were concerned. To know that He is there for us when others aren’t is precious and encouraging. It doesn’t change our circumstances, but knowing He is there and will not ever leave means so much.
Hebrews 13:5b (NKJV)
5 For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Psalm 23 (NKJV)
23 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
I pray you can be the kind of friend to others that Jesus is to us. And I pray that others can be the kind of friend Jesus is to you. If not, grieve that loss because it is the death of a hope and a need, but embrace Jesus’ promise to always be there for you and know that with Him in your life, you are never alone or unsupported.
Father God, I am hurting and going through a life crisis and feel like I have little support or encouragement from those that are supposed to be there with me as friends and family. Please help me to understand that many just don’t know how to be there in these kinds of situations and therefore avoid them. Please help me to understand that people who try to help wind up saying the absolutely wrong things and the result is hurting rather than helping. Please grant me all that I need to be able to get through this time with You at my side regardless of those who “should” be there but aren’t in the ways that I need. Help me to forgive them, to release them from the bad feelings and disappointment I experience and to move forward in prayerful contact with You at all times. Jesus, thanks for Your example in the garden when your followers let You down when You needed them the most. You rightly expressed your disappointment but moved forward to reconnect with the Father to supply Your needs. Help me to follow Your example. In Your name Jesus, I pray, amen.
Romans 8:35-39 (NKJV)
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
copyright 2014. Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved