The blessing of friendship

Pr. 17:17:  “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

Good, true friends are a treasure.  God knows we have need of affection and companionship and I believe He sends the right people into our lives for the right moments.  I love the stories of the friendship of David and Jonathan in 1 Samuel.  Despite his father, Jonathan was a true friend to David.  What a privilege for them to have a friendship so strong.

It is rare to find a friendship that is as strong as that.  Most often we have more acquaintances or friendly relationships.  Occasionally, however, we find another person with whom we connect in a way that is deeper than just association.  What happens to cause a friendship so strong that it causes one to love another as his own soul, as David loved Jonathan?  Loyalty.

When a friend is around during the good times it is great fun.  It’s always good to have some good laughs and to find others who amuse us and give good conversation.  However, when a friend is around and constant during the hard times in life, they become more like a brother or sister to us.  It is so comforting to know that there is someone with whom you can be yourself.  It is a wonderful to have someone in whom you can confide.  It is a blessing to know that there is one who will lift you up when you are down.

Often, when people go through truly hard times, people will actually pull away.  When the good times are gone, they may not see much point in hanging around, or they just don’t know how they can help.  It is during those hard times that you find your “brother” or your “sister.”  The ones who not only hang around, but who encourage you, uphold you, allow you to lean on them, and who continue in prayer for you will stand out as ones who are truly loyal.

Let me encourage you today.  If you have a friend who is facing adversity, dig in and encourage them.  In the end, you may just find that you have found a new brother or sister, and if the time ever comes when you’re the one facing the hardship, that dear friend will be right there to return the favor.

If you are in the middle of adversity today, and all your friends have pulled away, I pray that the Holy Spirit will surround and comfort you today.  Surely, Jesus is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  He loved you so much that He died just for you.  Call out to Him today and the Comforter will be swift to uphold you.

Affectionately,

jamie

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