For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.” Philem. 1:7
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Eccles. 4:9-12
Heavenly Father, I can’t imagine how storms can b navigated, burdens borne, and hardships handled without good friends, I praise you today for the gift of friendship—for the joy, encouragement, and refreshment you give us through friends.
When we walk through difficult seasons we’re sometimes inclined to think, “No one can possibly understand what I’m going through; no one can begin to relate to my feelings and confusion; noe one is as big of a mess as me.” Those are the times when it’s easy to withdraw into isolation, fall into condemnation, and reach for some ill-chosen medication. That’s when the gift of gospel-loving friends becomes especially precious.
Father, I praise you for the gift of hearing a friend say these two words: “Me too.” I praise you for friends who know how to “refresh the hearts of the saints”—including this saint. I praise you for friends who remind me of the truth and power of the gospel, and of the love of Jesus and the bigger story you’re always writing.
I praise you for friends who share their lives and not just their gospel; I praise you for friends who offer tears and not just their answers, life-giving wisdom and now just mess-fixing formulas. I praise you for friends who can say the hard things I need to hear, but in a way I can actually hear those things. I praise you for friends with whom it’s just as easy to pray as play.
Father, these cherished friendships turn my heart heavenward. They simply remind me that the foundation and fountain of all good friendship is found in you. Thank you for befriending us in the gospel. It’s overwhelming, settling, and centering to hear Jesus say to us, “I no longer call you servants; I call you friends.” (John 15:15)
What wondrous love is this, indeed? “Great love has no one that this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). Hallelujah, what a salvation! Hallelujah, what a Savior! So very Amen I pray, in Jesus most glorious and gracious name.
Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee.
This article originally appeared on www.thegospelcoalition.org