A friend will not complain when the other has taken more than his share, or if you are late.
A friend is a friend when we share the love of God as He would want us to. A friend endures criticism, endures harsh words,
"A friend is a friend to a friend indeed when a friend is a friend to a friend in need."
It takes time to develop a true friendship. Generally it does not happen overnight. It takes truth and trust and faithfulness to be a friend. It takes patience.
When I think of what a friend should be like, this song by Michael W. Smith about nails it on the head. I want friends who would think of me in the same manner. and I them.
(The song is "Friends are Friends Forever". Words: Deborah D. Smith Music: Michael W. Smith)
Fellowship however is important to our growth spiritually. When we rub shoulders and have camaraderie with fellow believers, we are encouraged, uplifted, given free advice etc. Without the fellowship of fellow believers we are like a ship in the ocean drifting about with no sail. We are open to deception and various other suggestions which will cause us to stray us from the Lord and our path to eternity with Him.This why it is extremely important to not only be in fellowship with other fellow believers, but to be also in fellowship in a Bible Believing church.
Scripture is replete with wisdom towards the need for fellowship with other believers.
Ex. Ecleccesiates 4:9-12 "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken." (King James Version)
I could give you a very many more scriptures showing you of the need and importance of fellowhipping with others. Please make sure you stay in fellowship with fellow believers if you value you spiritual state with God and your own sanity.
The Importance of Forgiveness
So called friends never leave you if they are a true friends. I received a card years ago when I worked in the carnival from the FAT LADY. Do you know why she gave me the card? Because I was a true friend to her, when most others steered away from her because of her size. Do you know what the card said? A Fiend is a friend to a friend indeed, when a friend is a friend to a friend in need. That is the true description of what a friend is. I would wager to say, and I think statistics also claim the same, that most people though they may have a crowd of people they may chum with, but when it comes down to the crunch, most people may have only one, maybe two real true friends. So do not worry that you may not have any true friends. You do have One Really True Friend that you can always count on no matter what. No matter your failures no matter anything you may do, say or not say. That friend is Jesus. He is but a breath away at any time day or night.
You can forgive those whom have hurt you in prayer. You do not necessarily to to tell them to their face, though that would be good. But God knows in your heart if you are sincere when you do. And He is the only one that really matters.
That is a hard task to forgive God for what you think He may have done to you. God thankfully is a God of compassion and love. No matter what we may think or say to him, He will never reject us. He accepts us as we are. It is because He loves us so much, that Jesus died on the cross for us and rose again. We do not deserve His forgiveness. We do not deserve the wonderful gift of eternal life He offers us. But He does, because His love for us is far beyond what we can imagine. His love for us is as huge as His forgiveness of our sins. It says in scripture that when He forgives us our sins, He also forgets them. He separates us from our sins as far as the east is from the west.That is an infinite line going in either direction which can never meet. That is how much He loves us. That is how much His forgiveness of our sins is. God would certainly never tell one to abandon you if He put one in front of you.
Now again as I said before, take that scrap of paper you wrote or imagined in your mind of those whom have hurt you. And like God has done, take it, burn it up, forget about it forever. It is finished. God has forgiven you, you too now must forgive others.
Brick Walls (A Replay to an Email from an Online Group Member)
I can fully appreciate what you are saying. I have in the past built up a huge brick wall around myself so that I will not get hurt. But the sad thing of that is that you in the long run only hurt yourself. It becomes a very lonely world out there by yourself. Yes there are many who will turn their backs on you. Well, frankly, if they do, they likely were not real friends after all. You need to tear down that brick wall and let people back close to yourself. There will always be those who will hurt us, but there is also them who will stand by you no matter what. Jesus for certain will never leave nor forsake you. And neither will I, not others in this group.
Also, as hard as it can be, you also need to learn the art of forgiving. (...) If you cannot forgive them whom have hurt you, Jesus said neither will God. Look what Christ endured for us by way of the cross. Yet He still forgave.
I suggest you begin new seeking guys to be friends with in the Christian community. Easier said than done perhaps, but as when you first started to walk, you fell, but kept trying.
Here is a huge hug for you.
The Buddy System
A burden has been lifted (a reply to an email from an online-group member)
Wow. I wish I could have been there. I have and can identify with all you have said. Everything from the hurts, the need to forgive, the need to identify etc. (...).
I really like your identifying with Frodo and Sam. I have read the series many many times, and watched the movie several times. Yes, I agree. Sam was the strong one, and in my estimation the real hero of the story. It was as you say, Sam who could not carry Frodo's burden, but could carry Frodo. He was always there for his friend and would not give up. He represents in a way our Lord, who also never gives up on us. He carries us in His arms and helps us to "carry the load." He is waiting for you to let go and let Him.
You definitely need to tear down the walls you have built around yourself that are keeping you at a distance from others to get close to you. I would guess that there are several who want to get close to you, to be your friend, but he brick wall you have built around yourself is keeping you distant from them.
I know what I am saying here as I have had the same situation. Once I realized that I had built this wall around me, I worked at taking it down. It was not easy, it was not fast. But I realized the need to do so. Otherwise you will always find yourself to be forever disintegrated from others, always distant, always discouraged, always feeling hurt.
Again, you need to forgive and to release those whom have hurt you in the past. If you do not you will never ever feel at ease. The ones whom hurt you are not suffering, but you do if you do not forgive and release the pain to God.
When one spends lots of time dwelling on problems, the problems never go away. Why, because we are human and think like a man. And because we are human we are more prone to err, that is we are prone to coming up with the wrong thoughts, because we are not thinking as God thinks, but as man thinks. And as we think, we are also being influenced by Satan and his fellow angels. It is a no win situation. Allow God to sort out your problems. You cannot do it on your own.
When Jesus said: "Cast all your burdens on Me" He meant it because as He said: "My burden is light." (Matt. 11:30. King James Version)
If you try to carry it on your own, it is way to heavy. But if you give it to Him, the weight is lifted off your shoulders. A yoke on the oxen is being pulled by usually one ox. He is pulling and carrying the whole weight himself. But, Jesus says, "give me the load. I will walk beside you, but you do not need to carry the load any longer. I will carry it for you." You only need to let Him walk and carry the load, while you walk beside Him as a true and trusted friend.
Your strength in all this is the strength and the power you receive when you LET HIM. And as you say: "Put on the whole armour of God." (Eph. 6:11. King James Version)
Our battle is not with flesh and blood, but against principalities, against the powers of darkness. Eph. 6
You on your own can never ever battle against Satan and his followers. But God can carry and defeat them that hassle you in the spirit. By getting up in the morning and starting your day off with quiet one on one time with God in prayer, scripture reading and meditation, you protect yourself from the wiles and darts of the evil one. Yes, that is what the armour of God is. Use it, use it use it use it, can I say it enough? Use it. If you walk outside on a wintry day in bare feet, you are not protecting your feet from the cold. Our shoes, our protection is found in God's Word, in prayer, in meditation and quiet time with Him. Arm yourself daily first thing in the morning before you go out to work. If you need to get up an hour or so earlier to do so, then by all means do it.
A good practice you can do for yourself is to write on paper all those who have hurt you, all whom you feel like they have turned their backs on you, all your problems etc. Then pray to God to relieve you of all this and then burn the whole thing and pray for Him to remove these from your mind so as to not dwell on them any longer and release it all into His hands.
Amen. You shared what you needed to share and God gave you the power to release it and now a burden has been lifted. Praise God.
Have a great and Godly Week.
You are free from your burdens now, if you Let Him carry your past. You no longer need to look back, but to look forward to Him and the awesome plans He has for you.
God has not forsaken us! (A reply to an email from an online-group member)
Though I am not personally familiar with these books, I am certainly familiar with Job. Yes, at times it does seem like God has forsaken us, though He tells that, " ...be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Heb. 13:5 (King James Version)
Life all rounds seems like it is out of control. And in reality to my way of thinking it is. The power of the prince of the air, Satan seems to be getting more and more in control of things, yet he does as much as God gives him leash. But we also know this, God is in control and he is letting man to see that his ways are not best when left to his own devices and ways. We, on a personal level have tried to go life on our own way, leaving God out of the picture and living life our own way against His laws. So, as with any action, there is always a consequence. We are suffering from our own actions.
However, as dire as that sounds, that is not the end of the story. God is in control, and He will have the last say and His way promises us eternal life with the groanings and moanings of the earth which are suffering the consequences of sin, to come to and end. The end of the book of Revelation describes earth made anew, with sin wiped out, Satan bound so he can no longer influence the world, and where every tear will be wiped away never to be shed ever again.
This is where faith comes in. Faith is hard, for certain. We always want something we can see, we can grasp a hold of. But with God, that is not what faith is. Faith is as Michael Card sings:
Galatians 3; Romans 3:22
"To hear with my heart
To see with my soul
To be guided by a hand I cannot hold
To trust in a way I cannot see
That's what faith must be."
We need to let Him, trust Him and wait beyond at times what seems beyond human measure. Unfortunately we live in a McDonald's fast paced, want now world. We want and expect God to deliver what we want right now. That is not the way He is. We cannot of course understand His ways and why He allows to wait and to suffer sometimes so much. Our ways and His ways are far apart. But if we look at what He says in scripture and look at His creation, and stop, look and listen to Him, then we begin to understand in small measure whom He is, why He makes us to wait on His timing.
You are fretting over lack of friends. Could it be you have those friends already and do not realize it. God places people in our lives to be there in His place often to be one to whom we listen to His word, to whom we receive comfort, to whom we have a shoulder to cry on, to whom will listen to our cries.
Friends do not happen overnight. It takes time to develop a friendship Look how long it took you to become His friend. He was always there for you waiting for you to come along, and in time you did. And as said recently, true friends are hard to find. Friends unfortunately do not measure up to what we would like them to be. Friends will lie and deceive us, whereas God never does. He is always faithful and true.
This world without God would never be a world. It cannot of itself become something. Something cannot develop out of nothing unless God speaks it into existence. Anything else, evolution etc. is nothing more than lies from Satan. He will use and has used the same arguments over the centuries to deceive us and to try to make us believe that God is dead. Today he is using the media and books to try and deceive us with the likes of The Da Vinci Codes and The Judas We Never Knew. These are not new lies. They are the same lies he has used since the beginning, but dressed in a different package. If he can make people to believe that the scriptures have even one lie, then everything else is the scriptures cannot be trusted as truth neither.
When Adam and Eve were in the Garden, he did not use outward lies to deceive them, he told them half truths, and planted doubt in their minds as to what God said by twisting the words of God around so that it sounded like God actually said something else. And this has always been his main tact to deceive people since the beginning.
So, if you are having doubts about God, and what he says, stop and consider where these ideas are coming from. They are not from your own mind, but thoughts planted there by Satan himself to deceive you, so that he can cause you to turn away from God and throw your life away.
But, if you truly were once saved, then nothing, nothing at all can ever take your salvation away.
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Rom. 8:38-39 (King James Version)
Though you may have doubts at times, and we all do, you can never, ever lose your salvation. Though you may turn your back on God, He will not turn His back on you. Though you may return to a life of sin, you may lose some rewards prepared for you, you will still never see hell.
Be assured my friend, God loves you with an immeasurable amount of love that we can never fathom. Though He may seem at times to have forsaken you, be sure He has not.
As the poem "Footprints in the Sand" tells us, it is at those times when we least thought that He was there, that He was lifting us up.
So, my friend and friends, and to me as well, for I also lately have felt discouraged, remember that no matter what, though you may be going through tough times, though you may be discouraged, though you may think that God is turning His back on you and you feel like throwing in the towel, He is always there for you and it is not He who casts doubts and fears and bad thoughts in your mind, but it is the enemy, the prince of the air who wills to destroy you. Face Him, who loves you so much that "... he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16 (King James Version)
"Lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." Luke 21:28 (King James Version)
Likewise we need to seek out real true intimate friends who will accept us as we are and whom we can count on to know they will be there for us at all times. Friends whom we can share our most personal thoughts and struggles with. Never give up the search for real friends, and when you find one, hang on to him/her with all you got.
Yes, He is also our great friend , and He wants to be there for us to lead us through dark times, through crooked paths and heal and restore us to become one like Him.
A True Friend
I have a saying which I share in here now and again. It is this;
"A friend is a friend to a friend indeed, when a friend is a friend to a friend in need."
In other words, a true friend is a friend to another in all and in every circumstance, whether good or bad. A true friend is always there to help and to share the burdens of another true friend. A true friend will tell another things the other may or may not want to hear and will not turn his back on the other even if the other does not listen to the good advice of the friend. A true friend will always be there to help the other before even being asked. That is a true friend. That is the type of friends we all need and should seek after. If however that none can be found, we still always have Jesus whom is our TRUE FRIEND.
What a Friend We Have in Jesus!
I am well fond of re-iterating this saying:
A friend is a friend to a friend indeed
when a friend is a friend to a friend in need.
As I pondered this thought tonight, I was reminded of the hymn What a friend We have in Jesus.
What better friend have we than Jesus. Many a so called friend will turn on you when things do not go their way, or when things become too difficult, when those in power become too overwhelming. Many of these so called friends will turn tail and run, and turn you in, and report you to authorities without just cause. Very few are there that will give their lives to save yours, to protect you against any and all evil and or dangers.
Few there are who will give their lives to save and protect. Even them who they do not know.
Only Jesus, stands among and beyond those who are above and beyond, the closeness of what it is to be known as a true and close friend. Only Jesus will give His life for the unworthy, the unjust, the selfish, the greedy, the thief, the sexual immoral, the liars, etc.
What A Friend We Have In Jesus Hymn
What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he'll take and shield thee;
thou wilt find a solace there.
(Text: Joseph M. Scriven, 1820-1886. Music: Charles C. Converse, 1832-1918)
Will you, my friends, though not as close a friend am I to you as our Lord and Saviour, lean upon Him, trust in His everlasting arms. Will you not allow Him to carry all your burdens, cares and worries upon His His own shoulders.
Will you not allow:
Him to be a Friend indeed
to a friend in need.
He is that friend whom is closer and more true to His Word than any other whom you have ever known.
He has promised that He will never forsake nor leave you. That means, that no matter what ever your situation, no matter what ever you are going through, no matter whatever your ups or downs, no matter whatever your stature in life, He is always there as a friend, the very closest friend that you will ever have, be there to help you through and be your strength, your strong shoulder, your all in all.
If you are drowning in sorrow, in pain, in strife or whatever, He is there, He will be your shoulder to cry on, you help in trouble. He has given His life for you to see you through any and all trials and tribulations.
None is a greater friend than Jesus, nor will there ever be. Trust in Him to be your friend through each and every situation, whether good or bad, whether through joys or sorrow.
Whom are you trusting to be your true and trustful friend?
Whom is Jesus to you?
What a friend we have in Jesus!
After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall that looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch topped by a golden letter "H" that glowed in the sunlight. Standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like gold.
He rode toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. Parched and tired out by his journey, he called out;
'Excuse me, where are we?'
'This is Heaven, sir,' the man answered.
'Wow! Would you happen to have some water?' the man asked.
'Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up.'
As the gate began to open, the cowboy asked;
'Can I bring my partners, too?'
'I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets.'
The cowboy thought for a moment, then turned back to the road and continued riding, his dog trotting by his side.
After another long ride, at the top of another hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a ranch gate that looked as if it had never been closed. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.
'Excuse me,' he called to the man. 'Do you have any water?'
'Sure, there's a pump right over there. Help yourself.'
'How about my friends here?' the traveler gestured to the dog and his horse.
'Of course! They look thirsty, too,' said the man.
The trio went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with buckets beside it. The traveler filled a cup and the buckets with wonderfully cool water and took a long drink, as did his horse and dog.
When they were full, he walked back to the man who was still standing by the tree;
'What do you call this place?' the traveler asked.
'This is Heaven,' he answered.
'That's confusing,' the traveler said. 'The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.'
'Oh, you mean the place with the glitzy, gold street and fake pearly gates? That's hell.'
'Doesn't it make you angry when they use your name like that?'
'Not at all. Actually, we're happy they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind...'