Todd Stiles   -  

You’ve never had a more faithful friend than Jesus.

Even if you’ve had really good friends, possibly great friends, you’ve never had a friend like Jesus. Why? Because only Jesus has stayed with you, stood by you, and secured you perfectly every time. When even the most well-intentioned friends fell short, Jesus has never once forsaken you. Not once.

This is essentially what Paul affirms in the closing verses of 2 Timothy 4, especially verses 16-18. Notice:

At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lions mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Consider the staggering statement Paul makes in the opening sentence—No one came to his support at his first trial. No one, Paul? Not Luke, your personal physician and historian? Or Timothy, your closest disciple and son in the faith? Not Silus? Or Barnabas? According to Paul’s own words, no one. He records he was left all alone—“deserted”—with none of his friends there to help.

But the Lord Jesus was there. He stayed and stood with Paul. And not only was the Lord Jesus the faithful friend who stayed and stood with Paul, he was also the one who secured Paul eternally, bringing him though every trial he faced until he was safely home. Paul knew experientially, and exclaimed definitively, that Jesus is the most faithful friend, the staying, standing, and securing Savior who “never leaves us or forsakes us” (Hebrews 13:5).

I hope you find that encouraging today as you face…

  • Changing circumstances
  • Fickle friends
  • Up-and-down relationships
  • Uncertain finances
  • Roller-coaster emotions
  • Unpredictable health
  • Shifting conditions

In the middle of all those things that, like it or not, aren’t perfectly reliable, Jesus proves to be exactly that— impeccably faithful. He’s the one and only friend who has never, and will never, let you down. He’s our Savior who stays, stands, and secures.

Joseph Oatmen knew this well, and he penned it beautifully when he wrote in 1895,

There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus,
No, not one! No, not one!
None else could heal all our soul’s diseases,
No, not one! No, not one!

There’s not an hour that He is not near us,
No, not one! No, not one!
No night so dark but His love can cheer us,
No, not one! No, not one!

Did ever saint find this Friend forsake him?
No, not one! No, not one!
Or sinner find that He would not take him?
No, not one! No, not one!

Pastor Todd