We can have some wonderful friends in this life. But even close friends can fail us. The Bible reveals your ultimate best Friend who will never let you down.
We all need and want friends, but over time we will also experience friendships that don’t last, friendships that turn out to not be genuine and friendships that tend to lead us in a wrong direction in life.
However, there is a Friend who will never let you down, who will never betray your confidence and who will always be there for you.
The human need for friendship
Every human being is created with an innate desire for friendship with others. Having a connection with someone who appreciates us and is glad to see us or hear from us is very important. Lacking that, we may feel alone, abandoned and even hopeless. Life entirely on our own is very hard.
This need is why wise King Solomon wrote, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17). In Proverbs 18:24 he also wrote that there is a “friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Human friendships are vital and can be a wonderful part of our lives. But where can we turn when people let us down?
The perfect Friend
There is a Friend who will never let you down and never betray the secrets of your heart. There is a Friend who will always be there for you tomorrow in spite of your imperfections and who is always willing to help in your times of need.
You can read about this Friend in John 15:13-14: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”
Jesus Christ, the Messiah and soon-to-return King of Kings, is the perfect Friend—if you will avail yourself of this opportunity!
Jesus understands what we go through
As our perfect Friend, Jesus understands human weakness and temptation. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
Not only is He the One who brought life into existence (Colossians 1:16-17), but He also experienced human life as fully God and yet fully man. He understands the temptations we face, as well as what disappointment, discouragement, rejection and betrayal can do to the heart and mind. He knows from personal experience how challenging it can be to live a godly life, because He, too, suffered through this life (Hebrews 5:8).
And we can have the greatest of confidence in His ability to help—because He lived as a man without ever sinning!
Can Jesus really understand all our human needs?
Some may wonder whether Jesus Christ can really understand what life is like today. After all, He lived on earth nearly 2,000 years ago. Is it possible for a single male in His early 30s to properly understand a woman’s needs? Can He understand the trauma of divorce or going bankrupt? How much can He understand chronic illness or the ravages of age?
He obviously didn’t experience every possible human malady, but that isn’t so important because He intimately understands the human heart. He experienced pain, loss, rejection, injustice and betrayal. He felt the anguish all these experiences can bring, and He knows how difficult it is for a human being to resist, overcome, learn from our experiences and move forward.
Jesus Christ knows our makeup and the core essence of humanity. Therefore He is uniquely and utterly qualified as our perfect Friend. “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).
Jesus understands exhaustion and the occasional need for solitude
On one occasion, after teaching and healing many among the multitudes that followed Him, Jesus entered a boat with His disciples to cross the Sea of Galilee. A severe storm arose, but He was tired enough to sleep through it until the disciples woke Him in fear for their lives (Matthew 8:24-25). Another time the Bible tells us He rested at the well of Samaria because He was physically weary (John 4:6).
The disciples were worn out when they returned to Him after having been sent in pairs throughout the region to teach, anoint and do other powerful works from God. Seeing and understanding this, Jesus took them to a “deserted place,” a quiet spot where they could rest and recuperate (Mark 6:31-32).
“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light,” Jesus said (Matthew 11:29-30). He is certainly a Friend we can trust with our most vexing problems, and we can be assured that He is aware of our circumstances and will help us through.
Jesus really does understand people problems
A lot of our struggles have to do with members of our own family or close friends. We try to get along with those we are constantly around—employers, fellow workers, neighbors and so forth. But they may prove difficult to get along with, generating frustration and anger.
Jesus experienced similar problems. His own brothers did not believe Him and became frustrated at His refusal to publicly show His powers (John 7:3-5). His novice disciples were at times vexed with ambition, disputing “which of them would be greatest” (Luke 9:46). He was criticized by the religious community for not having their educational credentials (John 7:15).
Because He came from Nazareth in Galilee—a less than prestigious place to be raised—Jesus suffered insults and put-downs. Even a future disciple asked, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46).
Then, in the hour of His greatest need, after one of His closest friends betrayed Him for money, the rest all deserted Him! In the Garden of Gethsemane, His disciples fled when they saw that He would be arrested, thus leaving Him to face the religious authorities and their soldiers on His own.
The next day many of His disciples were still too frightened to be publicly seen near the crucifixion site: “But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things” (Luke 23:49). Severe stress and problems often turn out to be a real test of friendships. Jesus understands and will never desert us.
Jesus really can understand the emotional trauma of abuse and violence
The brutal beating He suffered before being crucified was as intense as any illness or injury any of us may experience. In His last hours as a human, He was falsely accused, sworn at and spat upon before being scourged.
The Roman scourge was a multithonged whip that often had bits of metal or bone embedded in the straps. Some convicts died from this beating before ever being crucified. It was prophesied of Him: “Many people were shocked when they saw him; he was so disfigured that he hardly looked human” (Isaiah 52:14, Good News Translation).
Then He was crucified on a stake, with spikes through His hands or wrists as well as feet or ankles. Left to die in anguish and ignominy to pay for our sins, He can empathize with us as we struggle through the tests and trials of life.
There are some deeply personal things that can only properly be told to God
There is an old saying that goes like this: “Don’t tell everything to your friend. Because if your friend becomes your foe, then all your secrets around the world will go.” Sadly, there is some truth in it.
Asaph in Psalm 73 struggled with some inner turmoil. He could not resolve some serious doubts about God’s purpose. He could not responsibly disclose such doubts or concerns to a human friend, as it would trouble them unnecessarily or even cause them to doubt in a wrong way (Psalm 73:15).
The solution was taking his perplexing thoughts to God (verses 16-17). Only to God could he properly disclose such inner doubts. Only God could be his friend at such a time. This is when God’s friendship with you far exceeds what any human friend or confidant can provide.
Our perfect Friend!
If you identify with any of these examples, then you can know with certainty that you do have a faithful High Priest who knows what it means to struggle and suffer. He is fully qualified to express the depth of your personal suffering to the Father. He is the best Friend you could have.
As you come boldly before the throne of grace in prayer (Hebrews 4:16), you can confidently know that with every hurt you suffer, Jesus is our compassionate High Priest who hears, knows and truly understands how you feel!
We can bare our souls to God the Father, and our Friend and High Priest will intercede for us on our behalf and will be there to support and encourage you.
Learn more about Jesus Christ in the section “Who Is Jesus?”