Friends! Maybe once in your lifetime, you meet a person, and you just click—you’re comfortable with them, like you’ve known them your whole life, and you don’t have to pretend to be anyone or anything. Quoted by an unknown author. A year or so back I was working a ministry event with someone who was a great friend. It had been a bad morning, other volunteers not pulling their weight and I was getting the bad end of the stick. As I went to do my next assignment, this friend came up beside me, no words just slid a bottle of Pepsi on the counter and walked away. It was this action that made the rest of the day go easier.
Stay with me as we learn how friendship is the final secret of life.
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
During my research, I came across these quotes about friends:
- Because of you, I laugh a little harder, cry a little less, and smile a lot more. (Unknown)
- I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light. (Helen Keller)
- A true friend accepts who you are, but also helps you become who you should be. (Unknown)
- That’s when I realized what a true friend was. Someone who would always love you—the imperfect you, the confused you, the wrong you—because that is what people are supposed to do. (Unknown)
- A good friend knows all your stories. A best friend helped you create them. (Unknown )
- A friend is someone who makes it easy to believe in yourself. (Heidi Wills)
- A friend is the one there when nobody will help (Unknown)
How many of these fits any of your friends?
Five weeks ago, we started a new series titled “Life According to…”. It is a five-part series and each week we will learn one secret of life and as we move forward how each secret relates to the other.
The first week of the series we learn the first secret and the anchor is “Faith”. Nothing happens less you have faith. The second week, we learned about the second secret of life – Family. We discovered that families started back in the book of Genesis with Adam & Eve. This makes us descendants of Adam & Eve, but we also belong to God. The third week we learned of fitness. Last week we looked at finances. Today we look at the fifth and final secret to life.
As we look at today’s passage, “Brother” in this context indicates that the brother here is not necessarily a family member. It describes a close friend—one who stands with his friend through times of trouble. If a brother is going through the times of trouble, they would most likely go through the good times meaning they are always there for you.
A friend will be there during adversity better known as troubles or misfortune. Adversity used in this context indicating distress as shown in:
Genesis 35:3 And let us arise and go up to Beth-el; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.
This is a sign of faithfulness. Friends will always be faithful to you.
Or trouble as shown in Psalm 142:2
Psalm 142:2 I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.
A friend will listen to your troubles.
Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: And there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
I have always said that I have a lot of acquaintances but can count my friends on one hand.
Proverbs 18:24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
One close friend is more valuable than many friends. A close friend will stick by someone who faces adversity. This relates back to our passage this week.
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Following Christ’s example, He loved His disciples that he laid down His life for them.
Think about this for a moment, the military, first responders, just to name a couple put their lives on the lives for us and they are not our best friends. What would you do for your best friend?
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. 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.
It is always better when working together. There are more satisfying outcomes than if working alone or working out of envy.
Ecclesiastes 4:4 Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbor. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit.
In the Old Testament, envy is a negative when directed at others. It is described as a destructive emotion that is more powerful than anger. Not a trait of a friendship.
If you are married, then your spouse is most likely your best friend.
1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
Peter points out that husbands should also be people that reflect Christ’s character. He further emphasizes that they should practice consideration and love. The weaker female vessel refers to physical build and strength and nothing else. The context does not suggest any spiritual, intellectual, or moral inferiority since both males and females were created in the image of God.
Based on our message today, who is your best friend? What characteristics does that friend display with regards to what we have learned here?
In conclusion, we talked about Faith and that it is the anchor. Without faith, there is no other secrets to life. We are descendants of Adam & Eve, and we belong to God.
We moved onto family and if you have faith, the family should also have faith. At least your spouse should because we never should have married if there was no faith in both parties. We must make sure all our affairs are in order because we do not know when our end is.
Fitness leads to good health which leads to feeling better about yourself, your family, and your faith. In addition, fitness and health will lead to better focus on finances.
Finances includes your tithes, keeping the family care of and keeping the fitness and health up. Better exercise and eating habits can reduce stress on outgoing expenditures. Consider this, a $5.00 pack of smokes a day over a 40-year work period is $75,000.00 with no interest added.
So where are you on your secrets of life?
Secrets of life are nothing without God