Friday, August 25, 2006

Jesus is our Redeemer and our Friend

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Jesus is our redeemer and our friend. We've heard that over and over again. But do we really understand what it means? As our redeemer, Jesus laid down His life for us on the cross. He became the final sacrifice for our sins. He suffered and died so that we might live more abundantly now and forever. He paid the price we should have paid. He redeemed us from eternal damnation.

But Jesus is also our friend. As our friend, He spends as much time with us each day as we will allow. As our friend, He offers us advice and comfort and love, companionship and support and direction. As our friend, He comes into each and every difficult situation in our lives and takes us out of it, right? No! You and I know that there are some situations in life to which there are no clear-cut answers. And Jesus doesn't leap into bad or uncomfortable situation and pull us out. Rather, because He is our friend ? our best friend - He walks with us, holding our hand, guiding us, giving us a shoulder to cry on. He guides us through those difficult situations, giving us an anchor to cling to when the oceans of life threaten to sweep us away. He offers us advice and shows us how to handle each of our problems in the way that will prove best for us and for others and, most importantly, to the glory of God.

Jesus wants us to have joy, so He walks with us, letting us know that He cares, that He's there for us, that He will be our strength when we have none of our own. Knowing that He is there and that He cares is what gives us that inner joy He wants us to have. And when we allow Him full reign in our lives, He provides us with His peace - something beyond our understanding, but so very blessed when it is received. As our friend, Jesus redeems us from the horror of living life without Him.

You and I can be a kind of redeemer to our friends. When someone gets in trouble, or is having a hard time, or is suffering, we can be a redeemer and a friend by walking with him through the situation... not making the situation go away, not bailing him out, not stepping in and taking over ... just walking with him. Letting him know we care. Giving him the comfort of knowing that someone is there with him, holding his hand, crying with him, giving him encouragement and direction, and most of all, peace.

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