The Price of friendship with God
After losing everything he held dear, Job looked back and longed for the days when God’s friendship ‘was felt in [his] home… [his] children were around… the days when [he was] honoured...’ (Job 29:4–7 NLT) Maybe you can remember days like that in your own life. We’ve been conditioned to think of friendship in terms of the benefits we experience, but being God’s friend comes at a price. As Rebecca Barlow Jordan points out, it ‘costs… time, selflessness, thoughtfulness… absolute trust—and very often suffering. Those who are intimately close, feel the hurts and joys of the ones they love more than anyone else… True intimacy means a death to our own selfish desires.’ Abraham was called God’s friend, but the friendship came at a price. We read, ‘[Abraham] believed God’ (Genesis 15:6 TLB) when He asked him to leave his home, set aside any preconceived notions of how his life would go and move to a strange land. Aged 99, Abraham was still waiting for God to make good on His promise of a son and heir. Then Isaac was born—but God upped the ante by asking his ‘friend’ to make the supreme sacrifice: to do something He demanded from nobody else in Scripture—except Himself. The Bible says, ‘By faith Abraham… offered Isaac as a sacrifice… even though God had said… “through Isaac… your offspring will be reckoned.”’ (Hebrews 11:17–18 NIV) Then just as Abraham was preparing to plunge the knife, in an act foreshadowing the death of His Son, God honoured Abraham’s faith and provided a substitute. When you decide to walk with Jesus, the One Who calls us ‘friends’, the journey is rough at times, but His friendship will never fail you.