Hard times call for two things: Friends and character. If you have gone through hard times in recent days, you know the value of both. Character rests on truth, reinforces a life, and resists the temptation to compromise. Those who’ve impacted our lives the most have been people of character.
We all make various acquaintances throughout our lives—people who come into our circle for a season and then move on. With some, we’re content to let them go. But with others, we’re not. Once an acquaintance turns into true friendship, we hold on more tightly to that friend. A friend is a favoured companion for whom we feel affection or esteem. Why is a friend favoured? Most likely, it has much to do with how we feel when we’re with him or her. A friend accepts us as we are and is patient with our faults. A friend points out our strengths and rejoices at our successes. A friend’s presence and listening ear fill a void in us and give our lives a sense of validation and greater depth.
Do you have such a friend? Do you know how to be that friend? These resources can help you recognize the need for friendship and develop the attributes that will make you a treasured friend to others.
A friend is always loyal,
and a brother is born to help in time of need.
(Proverbs 17:17 NLT)
Never underestimate the power of friendship. Friendships give us comfort. They strengthen, nourish, and encourage us. They take the grind out of life.
Paul’s relationship with Timothy goes back to Paul’s earliest days as a missionary. Paul and Barnabas visited Timothy’s hometown of Lystra on Paul’s first journey around AD 47.
James encouraged us to prevent verbal fires from burning the forest around us. And yet, he gave no checklist, no tear-out sheet, and no three-step solution. Thankfully, the Bible isn’t silent about what we should and should not say.
The words, “I love you” make an incredible impact, especially when they’re authentic. There’s nothing shallow about authentic love. Real love has staying power. It always opts for working through. It’s resilient.
Life is not static; things are constantly changing. Have you ever stopped to thank God for not telling you the future? He dispenses life one day at a time and that’s how He wants us to live—trusting Him for each moment of every day.
Being a friend means being available, especially in times of crisis. You give the greatest comfort by simply being there and listening. Your caring presence can help start the healing process in a troubled person’s life.
A sheltering tree is a great description of a friend. We all need friends who will stand by us, in good times and bad. Going it alone is not how we’re wired.
When someone hurts you deeply, it’s easy to feel justified in holding a grudge. But in this message, Chuck Swindoll warns us that holding onto resentment doesn’t just injure our relationship with the other person…it damages our relationship with God.