Being Called a Friend of Jesus Through The Suffering

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15)

Friend. What a powerful word. I can count on my treasured friends to be available and trustworthy, to listen and love, to share deeply and empathize.

Jesus calls me friend and is my friend. Friendship is perfected in Him. I struggle with this following paradox. I long to alleviate the suffering of my friends. I can encourage but I cannot heal them of physical or emotional pain. Jesus, capable of healing often allows such sufferings to remain.

How do I resolve my thought-filled conflict as I trust my truest friend?

I look at how He lived.

He emptied himself of all that he had known in eternity–equality with God–to become a man. He knew all the temptations that I encounter. He modeled best how to resolve them.

He cried.
He grieved.
He laughed.
He loved.
He was misunderstood.
He persevered.

I go to the Garden of Gethsemane where the human Jesus pleaded with His Father to spare His suffering. It was to be beyond anything He had experienced, physically and emotionally unbearable. In dying He would face the total rejection of his Father.

He trusted his Father but being human, He anguished. My suffering pales in comparison yet I am also asked to surrender. This is my lesson in the “garden,” for surrendering involves my trusting what I cannot understand. Jesus proved Himself to be trustworthy many times but none deeper than this surrender unto the Cross.

He now dwells with his Father in resurrection glory. He did all that was asked. My journey here on earth continues. In time, I will understand all that has been asked of me. The Father will make all things clear. Jesus calls me friend, in part, so that I can trust the Father as He did.

Prayer: Jesus, because You surrendered, I can surrender. The difficult moments are significant and even bearable because You call me Your friend. I call You friend and Savior. I choose to trust You. I chose to thank You. Being friends makes all of this possible. Amen.

About the author:
Lynn Severance is a retired elementary classroom teacher. She lives in Lynnwood, WA. She writes to encourage others as God has encouraged her during 29 years of living with daily physical challenges.

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As we approach Easter, do you take time to remember the suffering Christ experienced and not just His resurrection? How does His suffering make you feel?