A common phrase for those who are friends during the good times is “fair weather friend”. I am sure we have all experienced fair weather friends during the course of our lives, especially if you have attained some new possession, wealth, popularity or a position of authority or influence. “Wow, I have so many friends!” But then what happens when you make a mistake, get into trouble, or lose your possessions and/or status?
The way of the world is to befriend those who can help you, but this is not the Biblical nature of friendship. A verse in the Bible is quoted as:
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. – Proverbs 17:17 NKJV
The “friend” part seems fairly straight forward, that as believers, our friendships are to be based upon commitment, not circumstance. We are committed to our friends and remain committed in both good times and bad. We choose to love them and commit our fidelity.
The “brother” part is much deeper and can be confusing. How is brotherhood and sisterhood connected to adversity? Consider this:
If you claim to be someone’s friend, then that friendship should be freely given to them regardless of life’s circumstances. In the church many claim that we are brothers and sisters, but do we really live that? Being a “brother” is a level much deeper than being a “friend”.
If you claim to be someone’s brother, then you have a purpose that was established at your birth.
You see, it’s in the times of great adversity that we need the greatest amount of support from our natural and spiritual families. So if your brother or sister is facing such adversity in life, know this: you were born into this world, for this moment in time, for the purpose of being there and supporting your brother. This is the calling of everyone that calls themself a Christian, or as we see in the Bible, is called to be a saint of God.
Is someone in your life facing a serious trial or situation? You were born for this moment, to lift them up and help as no one else can. Be there.