Friendship in life is precious, a gift from God, it cannot be earned, it’s freely given and received. It signifies trust and honesty even when the truth hurts.
St Augustine knew that true joy in life was not to be found without friends and the gift of their love and company. He wrote ‘…what consolation have we in this human society, so replete with mistaken notions and distressing anxieties, except the unfeigned faith and mutual affections of genuine, loyal friends?’. For Augustine, God’s grace of salvation is not something that is had in isolation but only experienced in the chorus of friendship.
We see from 1 Samuel 18:1 that true and lasting friendship can occur suddenly ‘After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David and he loved him as himself’. Friendships can be life long as in this case but sometimes friends come into our lives for a season and maybe for a divine purpose.
We are told by God that loyal friends love through difficult times, who in being sincere, speak the truth in love. Faithful friends are a rare treasure who never give up on each other. In Proverbs 22:11 purity and integrity gain the friendship of Kings, ‘One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend’.
God blesses us with gifts that add beauty and joy into our lives through those times of suffering and even in our day to day routines whether at work, at home, with children or with family and friends. Friends strengthen and help each other through hard times, ‘…though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken’. – Ecclesiastes 4:12.
Jesus marked friendship by sacrificing His life ‘Greater love has no-one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends’ – John 15:13. For if while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life! – Romans 5:10.
If you have a friend in mind as you read this, maybe you would like to pray for them and thank God for your friendship with them. Or maybe you have lost touch with someone dear and would like to drop them a line reaching out in friendship and love.