When I look around our society today there have been many things I have noticed. Not all of them good either. There seems to be more drug abuse than ever before, more problems with alcohol, immoral lifestyle becoming more and more rampant, and overall lack of common sense and decency. However, the one thing that seems to be the most disappointing for me personally is the lack of human socialization and true friendship.
People are quick to say things like “I am going to hang out with my friends” or introduce someone they know to other people as their “friend”. Here is my question, what does it really mean to be someone’s “friend”? What is the commitment level required to truly be someone’s “friend”? I think as we look into the Word of God, we can clearly see what true friendship really is.
Hebrews chapter 11 is often referred to as the Chapter of Faith. In it, we see many examples of people who had great faith and it pleased God enough that he had the Apostle Paul record them in this chapter. But there is one person mentioned in this passage that stands out among the rest. His name was Abraham. Abraham was a man of great faith and it pleased God so much that the Bible records his faith as being accounted unto him as righteousness. This simply means that he was constantly in right standing with God.
But there is more to this story than what is found in Hebrews. If you look in Isaiah 41:8 you will find something very interesting. It says, “But thou Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend”. Isn’t it interesting that God calls Abraham his “friend” in this verse? Why would God, the Holy creator of all that is, was, and ever will be, refer to a simple man as his friend?
According to the dictionary, the word friend means a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. A person who gives assistance; a supporter: A friend is someone who supports you even when things get rough. They are not there just in the good times but are also there when life tends to throw things your way that are not as kind. God was concerned about Abraham’s personal regard. He wanted Abraham to flourish and be happy.
The reason that God was able to call Abraham a friend is because even when things didn’t quit go Abraham’s way, when things seemed to be tough, when trials and disappointments tested him, Abraham did the one thing that was a sign of true friendship….he RAN TO GOD NOT FROM HIM! Abraham put his full confidence and trust in God and was able to talk to Him about anything. Even when he was frustrated, Abraham knew God was always there.
This is contrary to what we saw happen with Adam and Eve. After they sinned they hid themselves from God instead of running to Him. We know that part of that decision was based on shame and guilt. It was a sense of perceived judgement and condemnation from God. I often wonder what would have happened if they had went straight to God instead of hiding from Him? Would the outcome have been different? Regardless, the same way the enemy deceived Adam and Eve is the same way he tries deceiving us today…using guilt, shame, and sense of worthlessness. In other words, condemnation.
These emotions often cause us to hide from our friends instead of to them when things get tough. If someone is truly your friend you should always feel safe going to them with the issues that you face. That means even with your struggles and insecurities. They should be people you can count on to uplift and encourage you when times get hard. They should be the people you can call anytime day or night just because you need someone to listen and tell you that everything is going to be alright.
I want to encourage you, if you are struggling with hope, with emotions, with addictions, or life in general, don’t buy the lie of the enemy and isolate yourself. Take the opportunity to reach out to others who will support you, encourage you, and uplift you. Understand that it is not a sin to have problems but it is a sin to choose to give into them. If you are a born again believer, God has called you and empowered you to be an overcomer and a conqueror.
It is ok to ask for help and it is ok to let others in. Let the walls down in your life and trust God to always be there no matter what. Know that God has put others in your life to be a beacon of light and a ray of hope during the storms of life. He created us to depend on each other but most importantly He wants us to depend on Him no matter what!
Friendship comes from spending time with someone. Time getting to know them, really know them. It is about getting to know the essence of who they are. The same goes with God. Becoming His friend is something that happens when you take the time to spend in His presence getting to know the essence of who He is.
Don’t let the lies of shame, condemnation, and guilt hold you back from the joy and comfort of knowing true friendship! God loves you and has a plan for your life! Let’s figure it out together and show others that God loves them too!