A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17:17
God created friendships for the best and worst of times, and praying friends are a treasure worth their weight in gold. When I look at the daily news, I see the lack of true, godly friendship displayed toward one’s fellow man.
In the past three years, I have struggled through three deaths, caregiving, and the settling of estates. A few dear friends and one precious sister have seen me through with prayer and kindness I will never forget.
When You Need the Love of a Friend
Seek and nurture strong relationships with those who share your love of God’s Word and prayer. When trials come, friendships based on shared faith will never let you down. True friendships are based on a mutual faith in God, not on what they hope to gain.
Friends like these are not numerous. They can usually be counted on one hand. They show up when times grow hard, willing to go over and above anything I would ask. The Complete Jewish Bible translates Proverbs 17:17 as, “A friend shows his friendship at all times — it is for adversity that [such] a brother is born.” If you discover a family member with these traits, you are blessed beyond measure.
A Friend for All Times
Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice. Proverbs 27:9
Through the trials of the past few years, a small group of friends has prayed for and encouraged me. When the struggle taints my attitude, they faithfully point me in the direction God would have me go. Their encouragement comes from God’s Word, not feelings or their own wisdom.
Time spent with true friends blesses the heart, soothes an aching heart, and strengthens our perspective to see God’s victory. We are left with the assurance that our needs will be prayed for. Our way seems brighter. A loyal friend loves by pointing us to God, who alone can see us through tough times.
Be a Friend
One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend. Proverbs 22:11
Having and desiring faithful friends requires that I be that kind of friend to others. The experience of being genuinely loved should encourage me to offer that same love, acceptance, and loving-kindness to others. I must be the kind of friend that I desire.
Jesus called his disciples his friends because he explained his Father’s business to them. Mere human beings become friends of God by believing who he is and what he teaches. In John 15:14, he says, “You are my friends if you do what I command.” The closer we walk with Jesus, the better friends we can be to those around us because he fills us with his love.
The Love of a True Friend
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13
Jesus is the ultimate example of selfless love and friendship. He laid down his life for those who did not yet understand what he taught and for those who hated him. In its truest sense, friendship sacrifices for the needs of others. True friendship will give and give without limit. It loves and believes the best and offers all it has for the sake of the one in need.
This is how family members should treat one another. This is how devoted friends reveal the depth of their love.
Someone near you needs the gift of true friendship today. Reach out with the hand of sacrificial love. Ask nothing of them. Pray and believe in the best for them. Reveal the love of God through the kind deeds you offer, even to the least deserving.
The blessing you receive from going the extra mile cannot be measured.
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11