‘Greater love hath no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.’ John 15:13 (ESV)
One of the greatest joys we have are our friends. These are the people God puts in our lives to give us companionship, encouragement, and precious peace.
I firmly believe, as I look back on my own lineage of friends, that God knows who we need in our lives, when we need them, and why we need them. They come at different times, and at different seasons of our lives. Some stay forever, some move on. And if we are Christians we should understand.
God brings some friends to be forever present throughout our lifetimes. I have friends who have been with me since I was very young. Since distance is between us, we can go for long periods of time with no communication, yet when we connect again, it is like there was no lapse in time at all.
I have newer friends who live near me, who I see on a regular basis, who may or may not be the same. But these are also the ones I see a lot, and do life with on a regular basis. Some of these I can trust with my very life. Some of my lifetime friends are the same.
The thing is, God gives us to one another in friendship. Just as the disciples were close friends to Jesus, we are to be close to our friends as well. We need each other, to help in times of trouble, to encourage when needed, and to laugh together. Good times spent with good friends is worth more than silver and gold. And God knows.
We must value our friends, honor them, love them. We also must thank our heavenly Father for providing them. And most of all, we must enjoy them. They are our special blessings!
To have friends and to be a friend is an action. It is not just a feeling, and not just a thing. True friendship is a living thing, a gift from our Lord. Therefore it requires nurturing, quality time, and investment from us. That is how it will grow and flourish, and last a real lifetime.
Our most important friend is Jesus. He will be our friend forever, into eternity. He loves us more than we know. And He is with us every moment. He is Our Hope, and He is the one friend who has promised to be at our side every day and every season of our lives, til the end of the age.
‘Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.’ 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV)