Pastor Mike: Reach out to friends in times of joy AND darkness

by Mike Dvorak

Greetings One and All, I hope everything is going well and that you are enjoying the spring weather. The rain has been plentiful and the sunshine feels so good. When we look around it is such a blessing to see the lawns turning green, the trees leafing out, and the flowers are starting to bloom. For many people it is a time of celebration.

The school year is winding down. Some students are graduating, both from high school and universities. Some people are getting ready to start new jobs. Still others are going on trips and taking a vacation. Busy, busy, busy. Especially during times like this, people are usually anxious to share with others the joys and experiences happening in their lives.

It is human nature to spread the good news so others can be a part of our life’s happenings. What about the flip side, when we are dealing with issues and problems that most of our friends are not aware of?

We are not as quick to share our hurts and pains. Many times we keep silent and don’t want the world to know the struggles we are facing.

We often just keep quiet and only confide in our closest friends. By being silent, we are alone and hurting with no one to help us or comfort us. Jesus knows the value of friends, not only in the good times but also in hard times of life. Jesus had friends.

The apostles were with him throughout his ministry. They were sometimes aggravating, and at times could be annoying, but Jesus called them friends.

He knew that everyone needed friends in their lives. Jesus offers himself to be our friend. In John 10 verses 15 and 16, Jesus said :”we are his friends if we choose to follow him.” As followers of Christ, we don’t have a master - servant relationship, but we are friends with him, the Lord of all (John 10: 15). That is exciting news, especially when we feel all alone or rejected.

As believers we have a friend. Someone who loves us more than anyone else. It is easy to say we have friends. It is easy to say Jesus is our friend, but what does it really mean? What is the real value of a good friend? A friend is someone with whom we can talk to and share things with. A good friend is someone who cares about us and is available to us in our times of need. Also a friend is someone that shares our triumphs and victories without being jealous or envious. There are not many people who can fit that description.

There are people that want to know what’s going on in our lives, but do they really care or just being nosey?

How many people can you share a concern with in private and be sure that it doesn’t go any farther. Who can you tell exciting and personal victories with, being assured they are not jealous? Jesus is the one, maybe the only one, that we can open our heart and soul to. If there is someone else in your life that you can open up to 100% of the time, consider yourself fortunate.

Many people have no one to talk with. The other question that comes to mind is when we pray, do we tell Jesus everything? Many times we only pray when we’re in trouble.

This is when the “Lord please help me” prayer comes out. We think of our Heavenly Father as the last resort to take care of us, to get us out of a bind. Most people don’t call their best friend always complaining and begging for something so why do we pray like that to God? God is love.

In John 3, verses 16 and 17, the Bible tells us that “God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him won’t perish, but will spend an eternity with him in Heaven. God did not send Jesus to condemn the world, but that the world would be saved through him”.

That is the type of friend that we all need. That is the type of friend that as a Christian we have. As believers, we have a friend. God will love us, forgive us of our sins, and bless us. All we have to do is ask. When you pray, share everything with God.

Ask him for forgiveness for your sins, ask him for help with the things that are bothering you. Tell him the good things in your life and thank him for the blessings he has given you. Jesus is our friend There is not one thing we can’t tell him. Especially when we think no cares about us, remember God does. He cares a lot! Peace and Blessings to all.