Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times…” or as the Message puts it, “…through all kinds of weather…”. God often works in a person’s life through other people. It is easy to see that “my” accomplishments in life – who I am today – is because of the people I am surrounded by, my family, my friends, and those I’m in fellowship with in ministry. I carefully choose for a purpose.
I’m sure you too could tell me that the major steps forward in your relationship with God have come through Him working through the influence of other people.If we’re going to continue to move forward spiritually and be who God wants us to be, we need to take hold of one another in caring, supportive, biblical friendship. Koinonia is vital with God but also with others. Friendship has always been a priority relationship with God. When God wanted to picture a relationship of intimacy and integrity, He described friendship:
- Of David and Jonathan, 1 Samuel 18:1 says “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David.”
- James 2:23 calls Abraham, “God’s friend.”
- Jesus Himself describes the highest kind of love in terms of friendship, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends” (John 15:13-14).
- Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
In each of these contexts, godly friendship is a God-given refuge in hard times. Friendship is a bond in seasons of heartache, disappointment, and failure. A godly friend says, “Times are hard? You’re disappointed and discouraged? You’ve failed personally? I’ll stand with you. I’m not going anywhere.” Real friends come alive in those times.
God is the creator of relationships and biblical friendship – a lasting, loving friendship is a wonderful, very powerful thing. God created you and me to need each other. We weren’t meant to go it alone. I want to be that kind of friend, don’t you? Not just to want others to be like that for us, but help us to be that kind of a friend to the people in our lives.