Question:It seems like everyone I know is so lonely and confused. I love my friends and can relate to some of their problems, but I don't seem to be able to really reach them. I tell them about Jesus, but they seem like they'd rather stay stuck in their misery. What's the best way to help my friends?
I feel that same frustration. Because Jesus has brought meaning and purpose to my own life, I know he would gladly do the same for my friends who seem stuck in their misery. And it frustrates me that I can't help them see that. But that's when my wife reminds me that we have a Messiah who's been doing a great job for the past 2,000 years. He doesn't need me to replace him. What she means is that God cares for our lonely, confused friends much, much more than you, or I, ever could.
We do have a "job" however, and that's to share a consistent love with our friends. It sounds like you're doing just that and I want to encourage you to keep it up! You may never know the influence you're having on your friends. The seeds you're planting in them now may stay buried for years. But someday, those seeds may help them grow into strong, vibrant Christians. It's hard to be patient, but you can be confident that, as you do your job, God is doing his.
Still, it can be discouraging to share your faith with friends who seem stuck in their misery. Some people are just slow learners when it comes to seeking the joy you've found in Christ. My cousin Susie's life was very difficult all through her teen and early adult years. She had seen others find peace and comfort in Jesus, but she didn't believe the same could happen for her. She mistakenly thought she had to clean up her life before she could give it to God. She didn't know God is an expert at picking up broken lives and lovingly putting them back together. So she stayed miserable.
But God was working in her all along.
I happened to bump into her one day, and through our conversation, she ended up asking Jesus Christ to come into her life. The change was pretty dramatic. Today, Susie is one of the most dynamic Christians I know. Because she's given her struggles to God, she doesn't wallow in her loneliness and pain anymore. She knows God is there to help her get through anything life might hand her.
God's perfect timing will always be a mystery to us. That's why it's so important for us to be faithful to our job. If you continue to show your friends love and concern, you'll always be ready if and when they decide to follow Jesus.
I hope you also have some solid Christian friends in your life. You need people who can encourage you and pray for you as you work with your non-Christian friends. Thanks for caring for your friends, and don't forget to keep on praying for them.