The Gift of a Friend Who Loves Like Jesus

by Beth Knight June 13, 2023
"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity." Proverbs 17:17 (NIV)

I heard the news no expectant mother wants to hear.

The doctor’s mouth continued moving, but my attempt to restrain the lump in my throat muffled his voice. This wasn’t supposed to be happening to me. The 13-week appointment is when you’re supposed to get the “all clear” and exhale a little, right?

Our home echoed with an eerie loneliness. With each of our steps toward the bedroom, the walls drew closer to grieve the loss of sweet baby pictures and sounds we had joyfully anticipated filling the empty space.

Although I desperately needed others, my sorrow prevented me from picking up my phone. So my husband made his way downstairs to call our loved ones.

Moments later, my creaking bedroom door startled me as my husband stepped in and whispered, “Someone’s here to see you.” The beautiful face of my best friend popped out from behind his 6-foot-5-inch frame.

She made her way over to my bed, climbed in with me, and uncomfortably blurted out, “I’m not good at this sort of thing. I don’t know what to say, but I didn’t want you to be alone.”

On one of my darkest days, my best friend epitomized today's key verse: “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity” (Proverbs 17:17). A precious new life had been lost, but a little bit of life was breathed back into me because I didn’t have to walk through suffering alone.

Jesus commands us in John 15:12, “Love each other as I have loved you” (NIV). Through the prompting and power of the Holy Spirit, faithful friends love like Jesus and go out of their way to show it. They are willing to lay down their lives for others and be inconvenienced; they run toward us in our suffering when others run away.

How can we be that kind of friend? Here are three ways we can gift the love of Jesus to those who are hurting:

  1. Be the one who shows up.

Seeing my friend’s face was like feeling the sun reach down and wrap its arms around me, warming me to the core after freezing rain. When we vigorously pursue those we love in all circumstances — the good, bad and ugly — isn’t that a wonderful picture of Jesus? He is the Savior who says, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20b, NIV). We can pray to Him for wisdom about when and how to show up for our friends in the ways that best honor them.

  1. Be present in others’ pain even when you don’t have answers.

A godly friend soothes a broken heart, not through perfect words, solutions or theology but by being fully present amid someone else’s suffering. Frankly, the best kind of friend isn't the one with all the right words. She's the one who will climb into your mess and sit in it with you for a while.

  1. Be vulnerable.

My best friend entered my vulnerable moment while also exposing her own vulnerability: feeling unsure about how to care for someone who is grieving. What people often need most is an empathetic witness who will listen and pray over them with words they can't muster up for themselves.

Sweet friend, only Jesus is the perfect fulfillment of today’s key verse, but we can certainly pray for the grace to resemble Him in our friendships. Let’s not avoid life-giving interactions out of fear of doing or saying the wrong thing. Instead, let’s courageously move in love toward our friends, especially in times of adversity.

Heavenly Father, help me show up for those who have nothing to give back but a broken heart. Make me more willing to lay down my life and set aside my plans in order to be with those who are deeply hurting. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Do you have a message of encouragement and hope God has given you to minister to others during their hard seasons? Whether you want to launch a podcast, grow your social media, write a book or craft a message ... you need to know how to take the next step. We've got the tools to help you actually do it. She Speaks 2023: A Conference for Christian Communicators is happening July 13-14, 2023, in Charlotte, NC, and online! She Speaks 2023 gives you practical training and Bible-based teaching to communicate the message and story God has given you. Click here to register now.





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Galatians 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (NIV).

How can you faithfully show up for someone who is hurting — not with perfect words but with a present and empathetic heart?

We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.

© 2023 by Beth Knight. All rights reserved.

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