Let’s be real for a moment. Life isn’t always a bed of roses. In fact, at times it can be brutal.

It is often in these tough times when true friends reveal themselves. They stay connected through the tough times and the good times. They are dependable. They are with you to support you, inspire you and sometimes they are there to pick up the pieces. You can’t put a value on friends like these.

Christmas is the time we remember that God sent Jesus into our world to be a friend to people … but what sort of friend? One of the names given to Jesus is Immanuel, which means ‘God with us’. Jesus is a friend who doesn’t desert you. He doesn’t force himself upon you. His presence makes a real difference.

About 650 years before Jesus, a prophet called Zephaniah wrote about the type of friend Jesus would be. “He will take great delight in you,” he wrote. “He will quieten you with his love. He will sing over you for joy.” Jesus can bring calm to your life. He derives joy from being your friend and his joy has no cap on it. When God sent Jesus, it was an open invitation to share in His friendship and limitless capacity for joy.

Jesus, God’s Christmas gift, makes friendship with God possible. A genuine heart response to Jesus brings you into a joy-filled friendship with God, who is the happiest being in the whole universe.

Rev. Mark Wilson

National Ministries Director