Friends & Relatives

Friends & Relatives

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Proverbs 17:17 NIV

The scripture above is true. A few good friends and relatives do exist. But we are living in a time when a person’s closest family members will turn on him/her. A time when people have no natural affection for one another. Jesus said it would be like this:

“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew 10:21-22 NIV

How great it is to have a true friend! How awesome it is to have good relations with one’s relatives. But if you don’t have these it doesn’t mean that you are cursed. It could mean the very opposite (you are blessed). In fact some of the most blessed people in the world and who ever lived have had family and friends turn on them. Today this is the norm:

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:10-12 NIV

“You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. THEY WILL BE UNLOVING and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. THEY WILL BETRAY THEIR FRIENDS, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!” 2 Timothy 3:1-5 NLT

This description fits people quite well, wouldn’t you agree? It proves we are living in the last days. So many are lost. If you love God they are going to attack you. The demons living inside of them will see to it. But don’t fret. God explains to us what it all means and how to handle it.

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.” 1 Peter 4:12-16 NIV

Remember, God’s word says that a friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (Proverbs 17:17) Jesus is definitely that kind of friend and brother to us. He loves us so much that he willingly took torture and death to save us. Now that we are being persecuted for Him, what kind of friends will we be to Jesus? Will we quit on Him because things get tough? Are we truly His friend?

How we handle trials is a test of our friendship with God, and it shows who we really are. Hopefully when it’s all said and done we won’t be hypocrites. Hopefully we won’t be those who wanted true friends but were unwilling to give true companionship to God. Hopefully we’re not the type that quits on God or any of our friends or relatives when the going gets tough. May we be the kind of friend who loves at all times, a brother who is there to help bear adversities.

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