A Faithful Friend
In Job 16:2 Job responds to his “friends” by telling them, “Miserable comforters are you all!”
Job was experiencing more trial and heartache than anyone could possibly bear and needed the comfort and compassion of a true friend, but what he got was anything but what he needed. He goes on to express his utter feeling of abandon and helplessness. He feels like he has not only been abandoned by his wife and friends, but also by God. Do we ever feel like this?
Peter said that as Christians we should have “compassion for one another; love as brothers,” and “be tenderhearted, be courteous” (1 Peter 3:8). Not every “friend” will be the kind of friend we need, but the Lord will! God had not abandoned Job. In fact, the Lord was protecting him even in the midst of his trials. We have the promise that Jesus will always be there for us. The Hebrew writer said, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). We need to be better comforters than Job’s friends were. “A friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17).
Yet a true friend will still speak the truth. In Proverbs 27:6 we are told, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Understanding this truth Paul asked the church at Galatia, “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16). As Christians we need to remember that standing for the truth does not necessitate a rude, ugly, or insensitive spirit. In fact, we are to always respond with love and kindness. One can certainly rebuke another in love, discipline with compassion, and counsel with sensitivity.
Because the Lord is a faithful friend we too need to be faithful to the Lord. James writes , “Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful” (James 5:11). Thank God that we have a friend that will never forsake us. But to be a friend to Jesus one must be obedient to Him. Jesus said, “ You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:14). The converse is simple and profound, “If you do not do the things which Jesus has commanded commanded then you cannot be His friend.” And the one who is not a friend of the Lord is His enemy. Do you want to be an enemy of Jesus?
Be a true friend to someone today, be a friend of Jesus today. And be a faithful friend to the end!