You’ve Got a Friend

People have defined friend in countless ways—all of them good.

“A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.” Arnold H. Glasow

“Friendship . . . is born at the moment when one man says to another 'What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .'” C.S. Lewis

“A true friend encourages us, comforts us, supports us like a big easy chair, offering us a safe refuge from the world.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” Elbert Hubbard

Likewise, countless songs have been written about friends—all of them encouraging, enabling. One of my favorites is James Taylor’s “You’ve Got a Friend.”

When you're down and troubled
And you need a helping hand
And nothing, nothing is going right
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night

A friend is a treasure on earth.

Now, imagine being a friend of God in heaven!   

We read in the book of James (2:23 NLT), “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.”

This special relationship between man and God would be echoed in John 15:14-15 by Jesus, “You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.”

Friend with God then, according to CH Spurgeon is “within reach; Jesus Himself invites us to live and act, and be His friends.” Like us, He had lived on this cruel earth, He knows how it is to go down. He knows all about us.

He therefore gives us not a scanty measure of grace, but all of Himself, which encompasses all the definitions of and songs about a friend—so that we may live more abundantly.

James Taylor’s song parallels this old hymn written by Joseph M. Scriven in 1855:

Have we trials and temptations? 
Is there there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged,

Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Indeed, “What a Friend we have in Jesus.”

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