discovering real friends
If I had written about God´s goals in our difficulty, just out of my own reasoning and not using Scripture and biblical examples as a guide, I would have never thought of this one. But having seen this example in God´s Word, I recall that I have experienced the same thing several times in my life.
Goal # 6 TO SIFT OUR FRIENDSHIPS
That´s right. Sometimes God allows adversity into our life to help us and/or motivate us to pick and keep the right friends! Here are a few principles laid out in Scripture to guide our choice of close relationships.
David had a good friend in Jonathan, the son of Saul. Even when Jonathan´s own father was trying to kill David, Jonathan was a faithful friend.
In both of these cases, the quality of a friendship was revealed during troublesome times.
Proverbs 17:17 NKJV A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.
You have probably experienced this as many times as I have. Many years ago, in another church (so you are not trying to figure out who), I had two Christian brothers that I called friends, call them Bob and Joe. A third brother in the Lord said to me one day, “Bro. Mike, Joe is trying to undermine your ministry behind your back.” I said to him, “Brother I appreciate your trying to help me, but I am confident you are mistaken. You have just misunderstood something. Joe wouldn't do that.”
I went to Joe and told him what was said and told him that I had defended him. Joe thanked me, and told me that I was correct. He had not undermined me and that he would never do that. I felt good about my friendship with Joe.
A year or two later when I was going through a time of great personal adversity, Joe betrayed me. This time written evidence revealed clearly what he had done. There was no question; and when confronted, Joe admitted it this time. Interestingly, during the course of dealing with this, new evidence surfaced that showed me that what I had been told previously, really was true.
The first time, I was fooled. God showed me the truth in a period of adversity.
And what about my other friend, Bob? He remained a true and loyal friend. And in the time of trouble, he stuck closer than a brother.
Learning that someone you count as a friend is not really your friend is a bitter pill to swallow. But the sooner we learn the truth, the less will be consequences and pain. Learning that a friend will stick by you, even in difficult times, encourages the soul and makes glad the heart!
God sometimes allows adversity to reveal the truth about our friendships.
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