Sunday, April 16, 2006

Proverbs 17:17

Proverbs 17:17
A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity

Have you been blessed with real friends? Proverbs 17:17 teaches that real friends love and stick by you no matter what. They are available when you need them most, especially in the midst of adversity.

You find out who your real friends are when adversity strikes. Sadly, when my first wife Melinda became wheel chair bound it was amazing how quickly many of our friends disappeared. Her illness made them uncomfortable and when we needed their friendship and support the most they were no where to be found. It was a very painful experience and lesson.

Thankfully, God in His mercy blessed us with some friends who really loved us. The harder things got the more helpful and supportive they were. I don’t think I would have survived those days without their friendship.

Real friendship is based upon love. Love is constant at all times, even in the bad times or when things or people turn against us, even when we let our friends down. Such was Ruth's love for Naomi in Ruth 1:16. But Ruth said, "Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. David and Jonathan are another example of such friendship. From their first meeting, when David was in the King's favor, "Jonathan loved him as himself" (1 Sam. 18:3). But when Saul turned against him and Jonathan stood by him, David began to refer to him as "brother" (2 Sam. 1:26).

Do you have such a friend? If you know Jesus Christ you do. Jesus came to be “the friend of sinners” (Matt. 11:19), to call us "no longer servants but friends"(John 15:13-15); in fact, “he was not ashamed to call us brothers” (Heb. 2:11-18). His friendship comes to us, not only directly, but through our Christian friends.

Are you a real friend?

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