aaafamilyYou can never have enough good friends.  The older you get the more important friends become because there is less time to make new ones.  We remember friends we have had in the past, friends from high school, college and early life.  We have many friends through life but few we consider really good friends.

I think about friends like Jonathan and David.  According to Scripture these friends were closer than brothers.  How many of us have been blessed with these type friends?

My dad used to tell me, “When times are hard you still have the same friends you had in the past it is just now you know who they are.”  Paul found himself in this situation in 2 Timothy chapter 4.  Paul was facing trials.  He didn’t know if he would live or die.  Paul’s friends had deserted him.  The only one with him was Luke.  Can you imagine Paul facing these difficult times without the help of those he had influenced for Christ?

Why do friends forsake us?  It is hard to understand.  Sometimes men feel inadequate.  They don’t feel capable of helping friends who have real needs.  Maybe this was the case with Paul. Perhaps his friends  didn’t feel competent to help Paul when he needed them. Occasionally we find men and women who don’t want to be identified with friends in crises.  They don’t want to be associated with the problems that go with difficulties.  Often this kind of friend just walks away.  At other times friends are simply selfish.  They don’t want to invest the time it takes to maintain the relationship.  To justify their walking away,  they judge us as individuals.  This settles the matter in their mind.  It provides justification for their abandoning friends in times of need.  It could have been for any of these reasons or a multitude of others, regardless Paul found himself with few friends in a time when he was in real need.

Beginning in 2 Timothy 4:16 Paul says, “At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me.  May in not be held against them.  But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it.  And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.  The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom to Him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Paul understood from personal experience that friends on earth will desert and leave in hard times.  Paul had learned these truths about God:

  • God will stand by us regardless.
  • God will strengthen us in difficult times.
  • God will always deliver us.  Sometimes He delivers us from the hardship.  Sometimes He delivers us through the hardship.  Sometimes He delivers us by the hardship, but He always delivers us.

We have been taught that Jesus died that we might go to heaven.  This is true but it isn’t the only purpose for Jesus death.  The sin payment was made that we might be reconciled to God.  This means that Jesus also died in order that we might enjoy relationship with God.  With Jesus death we could be a friend of God again.  We may have many friends in this life, but we can never have a friend as wonderful as God.  What is your relationship with God today?


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