Part of the Year of God’s Possibilities is in the area of successful friendships. Friendship facilitates relationships for training people under you, for marriage, for working among peers, for networking in business or as a team for project work in schools.
In the Bible, God called Moses friend. God also called Abraham friend. Jesus called his disciples friends
“Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.” (Exodus 33:11)
“and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness’–and he was called a friend of God.” (James 2:23)
“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15)
Jesus and Paul showed us different types of friendships:
- Friends that delight you
- Friends that are dedicated to you
- Friends that disappoint you
- Friends that desert you
Friends that delight you
Jesus seemed to find fellowship in the house of Lazarus. It could be his place of rest, enjoyment and solace. There he was away from the tests and traps of the Pharisees.
Friends that delight do not drain your emotional tank but add to it. Some friends drain you emotionally. Others are fun to be around. Some make you proud of them like Paul and Timothy.
Friends that are dedicated to you
These are loyal friends. Those dedicated to Christ were the future of Christ’s purpose. Mary who anointed Jesus’ feet with oil was dedicated. Her name was to be part of the Gospel to be preached in the world to come. Some friendships make bad history but others contain your future. The disciples dedicated to Jesus saw a friendship that positioned them for success in future ministry.
With Jesus as their friend, the disciples were released into their potential. God released Abraham and Moses to their potential.
Friends that disappoint you
Judas was such a friend in Christ’s company. Peter sometimes was also a disappointment. But Peter was dedicated and was given to remorse and repentance. He became Christ’s instrument to start the early church. Judas’ end, however, was tragic.
Friends that desert you
In the last hours of Christ, he was deserted by his disciples. At the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus wanted the disciples to pray with him for an hour but they went to sleep. Jesus was very much alone on the Cross. Peter denied Christ three times. Paul also experienced being deserted.
“Do your best to come to me soon.
For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.
Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry.
Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus.
When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments.
Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.
Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message.
At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them!
But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.
The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (2 Timothy 4:9 – 18)
It is likely that we experienced friendship in each of these categories. Despite desertion, Paul’s heart was focused on safely arriving at God’s heavenly kingdom. People may not be perfect friends to us and we are not perfect friends to others. Successful friendship understands these four types of friendship. We can handle disappointment and desertion with right focus as below:
- Forgiveness must prevail for our good and that of others
- Faithfulness of God’s presence is our strength and God’s rescue is sure to the very end
- Favour of friends that care enough to take the second mile is to be cherished when you find them.
Friends do open up God’s possibilities for the kingdom of God. Over the years I have done that many times over, releasing people and giving them the blessing and privilege of serving God. I have laid hands and imparted to them all that I have so that they may prosper in their ministry and life. If you do this even when you do not enjoy the best all the time (and you will not) God will honour you. In your disappointment God will send friends to bless you. Most of all, God himself will be your truest friend and will strengthen you and rescue you, in the words of the Apostle Paul.
Love in Christ,
Group Senior Pastor