Before His arrest, trial, and crucifixion, Jesus calmed the hearts of His disciples and prepared them for what was to come.
In John 15:9-14, He defined the elements of being His friend. He said that His friends abide in His love just like He has abided in the Father’s love. The way to do that is to keep His commandments.
Keeping His commandments means denying yourself and taking up your cross to follow Him (Matthew 16:24). Obedience is demanding, but it is not grievous or a burden to do (1 John 5:3). Obedience is, however, as Jesus Himself said, the pathway of true joy.
It’s not a mystery to know how to be a friend of Jesus. It doesn’t boil down to the way you feel. It boils down to whether or not you’re willing to stay away from the world and do Christ’s will. Then you’ll be His friend.