Proverbs 27:9, “The sweet smell of perfume and oils is pleasant, and so is good advice from a friend.”
“You've got a friend in me. Oh, you've got a friend in me. When the road looks rough ahead and your miles and miles from your nice warm bed… just remember you've got a friend in me.”
If you aren't already singing this jingle in your head or you don't know it, it came out of the movie Toy Story. Each toy can basically count on each other for friendships. No matter what they go through, they are there for each other.
There's a story of a family who went on a beach vacation. One day they took their seven-year-old daughter down to the beach to play. Soon after another little girl ran up to her and said, “Hi, I'm Karen, do you want to play?” The little girl replied, “Sure”, and off they ran and were best friends from then on.
I began to wonder; at what point did we stop doing that. When did we become so afraid of rejection and become suspicious of people? Children are a great reminder that being open to new friendships is exactly how God created us to be. We are not meant to live alone.
We were made for friendships, and it is one of the sweetest things in life. Friends are the family we choose. They are our cheerleaders in good times, and encouragers in bad times. They celebrate with us and cry with us. Friends can lift our hearts like no one else can and life is a little brighter with our friends in them.
I have never heard anyone say they wished for fewer, less meaningful, friendships in their life. The problem we have fallen into is that we have become so cynical. We respond the wrong way when someone has offended us out of frustration or the fear of being hurt. This leads us to maintaining superficial friendships instead of real ones because we don't believe they exist anymore.
God has other ideas in mind, and He desires us all to find true genuine friendships in each other as He has with us. The Bible writers even devoted ample space throughout scripture to the subject of friendships. Proverbs alone is a treasure trove of wisdom for discovering and maintaining true friendships.
Let's look at one of the strongest stories about friendship in the Bible and maybe learn a thing or two along the way. Their story begins in 1 Samuel 18 and goes on through 1 Samuel 20. In 1 Samuel 18:1, we see the friendship begin between Jonathan and David. In chapter 19 we see the anger of Saul boil to the point of wanting to kill David and he confided this to his son Jonathan. But at this point Jonathan and David have a friendship like brothers. Jonathan first warns his friend of Saul’s intention and then talks to his father about all the good David had done. Saul retracts his threat, but it again is short lived as he again gets jealous of David's successes. We continue to read in chapter 19 how Saul keeps trying to kill David, but David keeps escaping.
Finally in chapter 20 we see Jonathan and David's story of true friendship. David confronts Jonathan with Saul’s intentions, but this time Jonathan knows nothing of them. David realizes Saul kept this from Jonathan because he knew of their friendship. David has an idea and puts his trust and life in his friend’s hands.
They go to a field by the kingdom and Jonathan has David hide until he learns of his father's plans. On the night of the festival Jonathan will shoot 3 arrows in David's direction, send a boy to fetch them and either let David know he is safe to return to Saul or he will have to run for his life.
If you read the story, you will learn Saul wanted to kill David, so Jonathan let David know by the arrows and the boy's coded messages. The next thing we find is Jonathan and David meeting for the last time crying that they would have to leave each other because of Saul’s anger. Verse 42, “Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace. We have promised by the Lord that we will be friends. We said, ‘The Lord will be a witness between you and me, and between our descendants always.’” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to town.
Look at a few key verses, 1 Samuel 20:4, “Jonathan said to David, “I’ll do anything you want me to do.” 1 Samuel 20:16-17, “So Jonathan made an agreement with David. He said, “May the Lord hold David’s enemies responsible.” And Jonathan asked David to repeat his promise of love for him, because he loved David as much as he loved himself.”
Here we find a few key ideas about friendship. Yes, Jonathan might have been Saul’s son, but his friendship with David was so strong, Saul could not break it. “Some friends may ruin you, but a real friend will be more loyal than a brother.”- Proverbs 18:24
· Jonathan was a loyal friend- 1 Samuel 20:18-22
· Jonathan risked his own life for his friend- 1 Samuel 20:30-30
--despite losing his place for the throne if David lived, Jonathan still protected his friend even if he died.
· Jonathan had David's back when Saul wanted to kill him- 1 Samuel 19:2
· Jonathan spoke only good things about David to uplift not to tear down- 1 Samuel 19:4-5
· A friend mourns when you mourn- 1 Samuel 20:41
· A friend can be counted on- 1 Samuel 20:4
· A true friend is not envious of you- 1 Samuel 20:30
Just as David and Jonathan were a model of true friendship because they felt a special bond (the Bible says ‘knit together’- 1 Samuel 18:1 NKJV). We have been knit together with Jesus, we are God's own creation. When we choose Jesus, He calls us His friends and like David and Jonathan we have that kind of friendship. Jesus is our friend through thick and thin, sickness and health, poverty and wealth and He did lay down His life so we may live. When you have Jesus in your life, you have a friend for life!
However, it doesn't stop there. Jesus provides people in our lives that can fill our need for earthly friendships too. When you open your heart like the little girl in our story and simply trust those in your life you can find true, meaningful friendships. Someone you can confide in, tell your troubles to, and share your life with.
The Lord knows who you need and don't need in your life, and He will guide you in the right direction. You just have to trust Him and be open to receive others and let them in. When the friendships are real and genuine you will know just like Jonathan did when he met David.
Who are the friends in your life and are you the same friend to them?
“Reading the Bible is SO intimidating.” Has that thought ever flown past your head? If it has, you are not alone — we have all been there. There are so many places that you could start, so many questions that could come up, but within all of those pages, and chapters and stories is complete wonder, awe and wisdom. The Bible is one of the most powerful tools that Jesus has given us to help understand Him better and all we have to do is pick a place to start and begin reading. When we do, Jesus is with us helping us understand and learn. When we study God's Word we get to know who Jesus is and that is where we can start a beautiful friendship. Today let's continue with 1 John 2:1-14.
Study 2, 1 John 2:1-14- https://www.docdroid.net/JscyzLG/study-2-docx
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