The feeling of not being a good enough example, not praying enough or being disappointed that you’ve not seen any signs of your friends recognising Jesus in your life may be familiar. Maybe you’ve cried out to God many times for friends, they’ve been to church, they’ve heard it all and still their answer is no. Should we still have faith for these situations?
We live in a world where everything happens quickly. We think things should happen fast and we soon get annoyed when it doesn’t. It’s like we’ve got a fast food way of thinking ‘this should be quick, and I will complain if it’s not.’ I don’t think our fast paced, modern mentality helps us when it comes to God. Our friends must be saved quickly, I must see them ask more questions, I must see them notice how I act. When we don’t see these things within a certain time frame we think is appropriate we like to moan and linger in unbelief as to whether it will ever happen. We are impatient and forget the patience of God.
‘Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lords coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rain. You too, be patient.’ – James 5: 7-8
Less fast food, more farming. It’s helpful for us to remember as a generation of instant results that just like growing crops can take a while, so can waiting for God to work in our friends. When we are reminded that God knows what he’s doing and knows our friends better than we ever will, we can be patient and filled with faith that God will draw them closer to him. Be in it for the long haul.
Personally, I sometimes forget the significance of me being friends with the people I am. There are millions of people on the planet and yet God chooses you, a Christian, to be friends and do life with the people that you do. That’s important and life changing for the friends around you.
Be encouraged that God can use you in what he’s doing in his plan for your friends. It’s his mission and you’re invited to be part of it, he’s gracious enough to use us sinners, who won’t always get it right.
Finally, be real and vulnerable with you friends, let them see how you deal with challenges, how much Jesus means to you and most importantly strive to love them how he loves you… now that’s a challenge!