Friendship Encounters Above and below
A Friend of God was a Title given to Abraham because of his close relationship and his faithfulness. In an age of Pagan worship and of multiple devotions to a variety of gods, Abraham stood out as a man apart. He had more than traditional religion, but a friendship with the living God. Abraham’s was a heart relationship; an inner alter deep within him from where the source of his affection sprung from. His relationship was meaningful, a friendship between two spirits in perfect harmony – a conscious awareness.
The God who brought the world into being; who rules over a vast universe; a sea of unimaginable vastness of galaxies and suns; awesome and omnipotent, longs to have fellowship and friendship with his creation. The very essence of true fellowship is genuine friendship, for real friendship is a personal involvement, an encounter; it is a friendship on a different level – and because He is a God of love, He cares about us. Because we were made in the image of God, we are made to connect because God is relational by nature. Friendships are a divinely inspired commodity and we all need them; to be content with less is to suffer a great loss. When God created us He established within us the need for communion; a desire to feel connected. We need people to converse with; to interact with and to be at one with, failure to accept this makes us vulnerable.
“Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart; so does the sweetness of a man’s friends” (Proverbs 27:10).
There is nothing so relaxing and refreshing as to spend an evening with friends of a true kindred spirit. Fulfilment and uninhibited self expression can only be fully discovered, realised and enjoyed with friends of such spiritual harmony. Some of the greatest gifts to us from God are our Christian friends. They compare at times to ministering angels; they gladden our hearts and lighten our burdens. Their company is likened to an oasis in a barren place, a shoulder to lean on in the midst of sorrow. Real Christian friends are God’s human agencies; they are His long arms in moments of distress, His tangible instruments in times of need, and evidence of His grace and foreknowledge – and we all need them.
Even in old age, God provides for his people. The story of Naomi, in the book of Ruth, is one to warm our hearts and to give us encouragement, for in her later years, our Great God remembered her predicament and she found herself in a new family and with new friendships. The friendship between Jonathan and David is a beautiful illustration of God’s provision for his children when they need it most. It was a friendship that was conceived in heaven and born on earth, for in the midst of a sea of adversity, God gave to David a friend, one who would love at all times.
You know how much I’m grateful God, for kind and thoughtful friends;
It’s folks like these that bring my life its greatest dividends;
Because they bring a friendly word, they share a smile or two,
And skies that had a tinge of grey become a brighter blue.
Here’s to life changing friendships Above and Below.
Blessings to you all
Jack has been a faithful member of the Free Methodist Church for 34 years, spending many of those years in leadership. He lives in Lancashire, UK, and has recently celebrated 60 years as being a Christian! Find our more about Jack and the story behind Jack’s corner: Treasures of the Word here.