A Friend Loves at All Times
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
[Recommended Reading: Job 2:11-13]
How many ‘true’ friends do you have? I’m not talking about social media connections on Twitter or Facebook. I’m talking about real friends. Friends who truly care about you. Friends who are compassionate and careful to level criticism at you. Friends you can count on when the ‘tide goes out.’ Friends who love you at ‘all times.’ If you are like most people, especially with social media, you may have hundreds or thousands of ‘followers’ but very few real friends who hurt when you hurt and would do anything to help you if you needed any help. I have noticed quite a few people today ‘pose as friends’ ‘act like they may be for real,’ but only do so to ‘keep up with you’ because they are nosy. That’s not a real friend.
What about Job’s ‘friends?’
When Job lost everything (Job 1–2), his three friends came to commiserate with him. Their intent was to be loving: to “mourn with him, and to comfort him” (Job 2:11). They wept, mourned, and sat in silence with Job for seven days, seemingly loving him as best they could. But then, after a week, they couldn’t help themselves. They had to explain to Job that his suffering was his fault, that he was being punished by God. They had no proof beyond their judgments and opinions. Their support turned to legalism and discouragement—exactly what Job (in the midst of great suffering) didn’t need.
If Job’s friends had stuck with their original efforts, things would have been better: consolation, love, shared sorrow. No words of advice, just acts that demonstrated, “We know you are hurting. We don’t know the answers. We are here to go through this with you.” That’s what friends are for—love in times of adversity. Unfortunately, they decided to become “Job’s Theologians” and explain to him that all his troubles from God was his fault. Doesn’t sound very loving does it?
Sometimes, when a friend is suffering, the best talking we can do is none. Just be there for them. You don’t have to have an answer for the riddles of life; especially suffering. For goodness sake, showing compassion and kindness is the bare minimal we can do for anyone hurting.
If you know someone who is suffering, someone who is going through adversity or hardship, take the love-leap. Sit with them, pray with them, write to them, take a meal to them, babysit their kids. A friend loves at all times.
“There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 24:24)
Who would that be? Jesus. “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” like the hymn goes.
Do you believe that? He knows all about you, good and bad, yet loves you anyway. His love for you never changes. He wants to help you experience life with a capital “L” — but for you to know Him better—you must start showing Him you want to be HIS friend.
Spending time with Him, in His Word, in prayer, in the fellowship of His people in church, during the week in your thoughts. Friends of God, friends of Jesus always make room for Him in their lives. Don’t expect God to be your friend when you are not willing or wanting to be His. He desires to be closer to you than you realize. Give God a chance and He will show you just what friendship is all about because He can help you be a better friend to others who need your friendship. Life is not all about us. If we treated our friends like some of us do God, we would have none. God is a Person, not a thing or the Star Wars ‘Force.’ He created you in His image.
I challenge you, start spending time with Him, get to know Him, love Him, respect Him, like Him, be His friend and watch your life be totally transformed.
“Our job is to love people we don’t have to love. If we won’t do that, then we can’t call ourselves true believers in a God who does.”