Strong friendships all have a common ground on which they are sustained: they are there for each other. If a person suffers a setback a good friend will help them get back on their feet. If a person is in need of comfort a good friend will comfort them. And if a person finds themselves in the middle of conflict a good friend will help them to fight the battle.
Building strong friendships require time, effort and vulnerability. But they are worth the price. Because friendships take so much of us, we need to make sure that Jesus is at the core of these friendships. When he is, our friendships won’t fray and our results will be blessed.
“Hear me Lord so that these people will know that you are God and so that they’ll return to you.” spoke Elijah. Immediately the Lord answered the prayer. God was known as Lord.
One simple prayer captivated our Lord.
We serve the One, True God that doesn’t require us to take drastic measures to have a relationship with him. We only need to humbly call out to Him and accept His gift of salvation.
A true friend is one that encourages you to grow in your walk with Christ, even when it may be awkward or hard to accept.
Have you ever judged too dramatically in a situation? Maybe you’ve allowed yourself to exaggerate the circumstances to allow yourself comfort, pity? You criticize and condemn and make yourself believe that nothing can bring you back from what you’ve experienced?
Naomi was the same way when she returned to her home country. People came to greet her and she rejected them. She told them not to call her Naomi. She announced that she had changed her name to Mara, meaning that The Lord had dealt bitterly with her. Yes, her husband and two sons died. No, I’m not even capable of comprehending how she felt. But she judged the situation wrong. She told the people that The Lord was against her…out to get her. She had allowed her grief to balloon into false accusations that she believed to be true, which eventually turned into anger toward God.
Fast forward. Neighborhood women are once again gathering around Naomi. But this time she is rejoicing, answering to her given name. Holding her infant grandson, Obed…part of the lineage of David.
God never chose for Naomi to change her name to Mara. It was all her doing. He knew that a greater blessing was in her future. He wasn’t being mean or vindictive as she had allowed herself to believe. He was paving the way for a monumental blessing in her life.
When devastating times come your way walk closer to Jesus instead of pushing Him away. Know that He has the best plans for you in mind, even as you’re going through a terrible trial. And then, through His strength, focus only on what you know to be true….don’t allow your mind to wander.
Job was facing difficult times. He had lost his farm, his children and he was sick.
His wife’s advice? Kill yourself. End it all.
Job was taken aback that his wife would suggest this. She was supposed to be someone he could trust to give sound advice. Job immediately recognized that this wasn’t Godly counsel. He rebuked his wife and continued to praise God.
Sometimes people will fail us. They will give us bad advice.
God will never let us down.
Take the advice or opinions of others to the Word. Make sure what they’re saying lines up with the principles of God.
Close out the world. Get quiet. Envision The Lord sitting on His throne in His kingdom looking directly into your eyes listening to you speak to Him.
That’s powerful. The Lord we serve is high above all else, using the earth as His footstool. Yet He cares enough about you to look into your eyes and to listen to what you are saying. As you imagined The Almighty God focusing on you notice that you weren’t seeing the trials or tribulations that you may be going through. You were completely focused on God alone.
David acknowledged The Lord as God. He was aware of all the turmoil that faced him. Yet David chose to focus on God. His desire to worship Him, seek Him and talk with Him took precedence over everything else that surrounded him. David’s spirit was made confident and peace prevailed when he sought The Lord that was hearing his prayers.
Ask The Lord to bring a vision like this to your mind when you become bogged down by the world or pursued by the devil. Focusing on God and the relationship that he offers you can bring you confidence and peace. Because it isn’t just our imagination. It’s reality.