A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
- Proverbs 17:17 NIV
A life without friendships or a community can be extremely isolating and lonely. Sometimes we get into a mindset that we need to be our own greatest advocate and decide that community isn’t all that important. But God created us to be relational, and friendship is a key part of that. I love Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV), which says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” I think this really shows the value in spending time with others and how we can build each other up in love.
I am so thankful for the healthy friendships God has placed in my life. I have been so blessed to have friends that have helped me grow in my faith and be shaped into the person that I am today. They have been with me in my lowest points and have supported me through them. Being loved is such a great feeling, and it is important we make sure we are providing our friends with the same encouragement. Galatians 6:2 (NIV) says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ,” which I think gives a great picture of how God calls us to be present in each other’s lives, through the good times and the challenging times. Some ways to help carry each other’s burdens can be as simple as asking our friends how they are doing and how we can pray for them.
I also love that our friendships can help hold us accountable. With my closest friends, I know that I can tell them anything and that they will be honest with me. If I am sinning, or falling short, they will let me know and support me through it. This isn’t to shame or judge me but to help me grow closer to God. God can use our friends in so many ways, and they can often see things in our lives that we cannot. When having potentially challenging conversations with friends, I think that it is really important to turn to prayer and ask God for wisdom and the right words to say. It can be difficult to have these discussions, but when we trust God to lead us it can be done out of love.
Maybe you are reading this and are in a season of loneliness. When I first started university, I didn’t have a community at my school. It felt like I would go days without having a meaningful conversation with anyone. It was the most isolating time of my life; I felt like I had no one to turn to. I decided to put my trust in God, and I prayed that He would provide me with a group of friends. I didn’t end up finding community on campus, but I am so thankful that He put people in my life to support me. It took time, but our God is faithful and He hears our prayers.
I encourage you to be brave and step out of your comfort zone. Text an old friend to hang out, join a club at school, or connect with a small group at church. Friendship is so life-giving, and taking a risk to seek it out is worth it. If you are someone who has been blessed with an amazing community, look out for those who may be on the outside. We have all had times where we felt like we didn’t belong, so it’s important for us to become the person that we would’ve needed. Always remember that when you feel alone, God is listening and He hears our prayers.
1. What are some ways you can support and be praying for your friends this week?
2. How can you make community a priority in your life?
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of friendship. Thank You for all the meaningful relationships You have placed in my life for a reason. When I feel alone, remind me that You are a constant presence. Give me the strength and the confidence to be bold and to reach out to others. Help me to be a better friend and support those closest to me. Help me to be there for those who are struggling and feel like they don’t have anyone to turn to. I thank You, God, for Your love that is constantly transforming me. Thank You never leaving or forsaking me. Amen.
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