A Word of Encouragement from Elizabeth Rice Handford
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a friend who was so committed to your friendship he used his substantial wealth to help you out of a tight spot without your even knowing he knew about it? . . . A friend who cared so much for you that he often anticipated your needs, and met them so unobtrusively that you never were embarrassed by his generosity? . . . Whose money-savvy was so acute he could help you make wise financial decisions throughout your life?
Wouldn’t it be great to have a friend in government so situated he made sure you always got a fair hearing? . . . A friend with the authority to protect you and your family from being bullied or mistreated in business dealings? . . . A friend who could warn you of the pitfalls ahead?
Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a friend who knew your heart so well that he instinctively sensed when you were troubled without your having to explain? . . . that when you suffered great pain, the loss of a child, the betrayal of business partner, a spouse who strayed, a friendship lost, he did not trivialize the pain with stale platitudes, but who wept with you, and without words put his arm around you and shared your grief?
Wouldn’t it be incredible to have a friend who didn’t quit loving you even when you miserably and stupidly failed him and everyone else? . . . A friend who loved you too much to gloss over your failure, but who gently and quietly helped you to admit the wrong, to ask for God’s forgiveness, and to help you set out to repair the harm? . . . A friend who understood why your failed and still called you his friend?
Wouldn’t it be astonishing to have a friend who loves you so much He would die for you? . . . Who will love you until the day you die, and then beyond, into eternity?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful and comforting to have a friend like that?
That is the friendship the Lord Jesus yearns to have with you. He has the power, the authority, to protect you. He has the resources to meet your every need. He has a heart of compassion to suffer with you. And He loves you “to the uttermost,” (John 13:1) with an undying love, a love so great that He endured the rejection of His own beloved Father in order to redeem you. And should you feel unworthy of such love, you could remember that He is “the friend of sinners” (Matthew 11:19).
How is a friendship like this possible? Simply accept His love. Take the gift of His forgiveness for your sin. Ask Him to be your Friend. He will. He’s the Man who keeps His promises. He’s the God who created you so He already knows all about you.
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens,
Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
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.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. —Hebrews 4:14-16