“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8 NIV).
Two men camping in the forest were enjoying their morning coffee when they suddenly spotted a very large, hungry grizzly bear running toward them. One of the men quickly pulled on his running shoes. “Do you actually think you can outrun that grizzly bear?” his friend asked.
“I don’t need to,” he replied. “All I have to do is outrun you.”
We’ve all had friends like that, haven’t we? At the first threat of danger or hardship, or difficulty, they’re out the back door. So what makes for true friendship? It has been said that a true friend is one who walks in when others walk out. Thankfully, there have been people in my life who have stood by me and have been honest friends. But there’s one thing of which I’m confident: I have found a true and loyal friend in Jesus Christ.
Jesus offers His friendship to us. In fact, the New Testament goes so far as to say we have been called by God the Father into fellowship with His Son (see 1 Corinthians 1:9). But is it all one way? Do we really expect a friendship without a response on our part? A genuine relationship, obviously, is made up of two people committing themselves to one another. I can extend friendship to you, but until you return it to me, I can’t legitimately say we’re really friends.
Jesus demonstrated His willingness to have a friendship with us by what He did for us. He said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13 NKJV).
Jesus forever proved just how dedicated He was to us when He did just that.
Out of their long and painful journey has come a really helpful survival guide, so to speak. It’s a book called Suffer Strong: How to Survive Anything by Redefining Everything. It’s not just an inspiring story of triumph through trials but a how-to book for accepting God’s plan and recognizing His providence even when it feels like your world is shattered.