Faithlife Sermons

Thankful for Friendship

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Introduction
So our topic today is Thankful for friendship,
Friendship is an interesting subject, and I think it requires a little bit of definition, because our culture has defined it a bit differently than the Bible.
Think about your best friend for a minute. Maybe you have a couple best friends. Think about some of the reasons why you would consider that person to be your best friend. Maybe you have some of the same interests. Maybe you play a sport together, or you have been classmates since you were young. Maybe you met at church. Think about some of those things for a minute.
So our topic today is Thankful for friendship
Think about your best friend (???)
What is a friend?
Friendship is an interesting subject, and I think it requires a little bit of definition, because our culture has defined it a bit differently than the Bible.
What is a friend?
Think about your best friend for a minute.
Friendship is a very powerful thing. Your life is
I read a good definition about what friendship in the Bible means, and it is simply this: Someone who you are close to
A friend is a person that you have decided to invest your life towards. For whatever reason, this particular person stuck out to you, and you decided that you wanted to get close to them and develop a relationship.
This can happen in all sorts of different ways. Sometimes you are hanging out with a group of your other friends, and you meet someone that sparks your attention and you become friends with that person from that day on. Other times, we have to work to become friends with certain people. Maybe we don’t necessarily connect with a certain person as easily, but we decide in our minds that we want to get close, so we put in the effort.
Friendship is a very powerful thing. The people that you choose to be your friends are often going to have the biggest influence on your life.
But what I want you guys to see this morning is that Friendship is a very powerful thing. Well, the people that you choose to be your friends are usually going to have the biggest influence on your life.
And this can go either way. You can have friends in your life who influence you in very good and godly ways, I think of all those people in my life who have pushed me closer to Jesus and encouraged me. But there can also be friends who influence you in a very negative way.
So just because you are close to someone doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good thing.
Friendship in the Bible is often a good thing, and we are going to look at some of those things today, but the Bible also says that there are friends that can be very unhealthy.
Maybe you have a couple best friends.
And the reason friendships can be unhealthy is because they really can influence our lives either way.
Let’s start by looking at a few verses that talk about how much friendships can affect you in a negative way.
, ,
Might want to put a tab in it
Proverbs 22:24–25 ESV
Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.
Now first let me tell you what this verse is not saying. This verse definitely isn’t saying not to be friends with someone who has gotten angry. If that were the case, we would have to give up all of our friends because everyone is a sinner.
But what I really see in this verse is that, if you are hanging out with somebody who is constantly angry, or constantly has a bad attitude, unless you’re totally full of the Holy Spirit, there’s a good chance that their attitude is going to rub off on you too.
And you need to be really careful about those people. Often times, we think that we can go into a friendship and help somebody change, and by God’s grace we can do that. But at the same time, it’s a lot easier to pull somebody down than it is to lift them up.
(Example with Nick and I??)
Let me get a couple of volunteers this morning, I want to demonstrate this for you guys.
So did it look easier for __ to lift up __, or the other way?
This is often how it can be in friendship.
That’s exactly how David says it in Psalm chapter 1
Psalm 1:1–2 ESV
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
So there is a powerful thing that happens when you spend time around certain people.
And I even love the progression that goes on in these verses
First you’re walking in the counsel of the wicked. You hear the advice of the world in how to live your life, and you’re like, yeah that’s pretty cool. I like that.
Next you find yourself standing in the way of sinners. Your worldly wisdom led you to be standing in a really worldly situation.
And finally, you’re sitting in the seat of scoffers. Now you’re fully in that lifestyle, fully comfortable living in your sin.
James 4:4 ESV
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
EXPOUND
So this is pretty crazy too, did you know that we can have friendship with the world? What does that mean? Well based on my definition of friendship, that it is simply being “close” to someone, or in this case, something, it means that we even as believers can be close to the world.
What does this mean? Once again, it’s not saying that verses aren’t saying that we shouldn’t have any friends who are in the world.
Jesus himself prayed in , “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”
, but rather that we can still choose to be friends of the world’s system. And we know from 2 Corinthians 4:4 that Satan is the god (little g) of this world. So just think about that, if you decide to become friends with the present world’s system, you may not like to think this, but you are actually making yourself a friend of the Devil. And there is a possibility that you aren’t really saved. You’re either God’s friend, or you’re the Devil’s friend.
But even with this in mind, we as Christians can still choose to be friends of this world, which in these verses just means the world’s system.
The Bible says in that Satan is the god (little g) of this world. So just think about that, if you decide to become friends with the present world’s system, you may not like to think this, but you are actually making yourself a friend of the Devil.
Jesus went so far when he was speaking to some of the religious leaders at one point, where he told them their Father was the Devil. Now if you are a Christian today, your father definitely is not the devil. Realize that. No matter what kind of sin you may be struggling with today, the Devil will never be your Father if you are born again. But even with that said, you can still choose to be Satan’s friend. There’s a difference.
And as it says here, friends of the world make themselves enemies of God. Clear as day.

17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

Philippians 3:17–21 ESV
Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
2 Corinthians 6:14–15 ESV
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?
Think about some of the reasons why you would consider that person to be your best friend.
Friendship in the Bible is often a good thing. Good friends can
So with all that said, we are going to take a slight turn and focus on our main point for the rest of this study: Friendship with God
EXPOUND
I had a best friend in high school, but he was not a good friend.
Maybe you have some of the same interests.
John 15:15 ESV
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.
Earlier I said that friendship is simply being close to someone.
But guys, I really want to focus on this because this is by far the most important friendship we can ever choose to have, friendship with God.
So in the rest of our time, we are going to look at three main characteristics of someone who is a friend of God. And the main text that we are going to be looking at is .
Now I just want to say that I can’t tell you how many times I have read through this chapter of Psalms throughout my life. It’s been such a sweet one to me. But God gave me a totally new glimpse at it this week as I was studying in light of friendship.
Here we see the Psalmist
So let’s start with verses 1 and 2
Psalm 42:1–2 ESV
As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
My first point to you all about what a Friend of God looks like is this.
FRIENDS OF GOD LONG FOR GOD (x)
And within this longing for God that the Psalmist speaks of in these first couple of verses, I see two really incredible things.
First off: I see that someone who is God’s Friend is absolutely dependent upon God.
A friend of God knows how much they need Him.
Just look at the image that this Psalm paints here. He compares the thirsting of his soul to a deer panting for flowing water.
And think about that for a second. That deer is helpless, it’s lifeless, it’s lost, without having that flowing stream to provide for it’s need of thirst.
And I love that it even uses a flowing stream. And I don’t really understand deers, I don’t know if they can drink still water or not. Maybe one of you deer experts would be able to enlighten me. But I still love the picture here, of this deer that’s longing for the flowing water. And notice how in verse 2 he says that his soul thirsts for the living God.
It speaks so much of the longing of our human soul to be refreshed by the life-giving Spirit of God. Nothing else can quite satisfy in the same way that God can. Friends of God realize this and they come to him daily for that refreshment that they need.
John 4:13–14 ESV
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 4:
The second thing I notice in verse two is that this longing for God produces a desire to be with God.
Just like any human friendship. Those people that you consider to be your close friends are the people that you want to spend the most amount of time with, right?
How much more, as Friends of God, should we desire to walk with him in that close fellowship?
But even more than that, as Friends of God, our hearts should long for the day when we are finally with God face to face.
Are your hearts longing to be with God today?
Are your hearts burning for the day that Jesus comes back and we are reunited to the God who saved us and promised us an abundant and eternal life with him?
This is just so good!
Let’s move on to verses 3-6
Psalm 42:3–6 ESV
My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival. Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
So at the beginning of the Psalm, we see the writers deep longing that he has for God.
Now we take a turn, and he’s going to begin writing about this intense struggle that he is facing. He says in Verse three, “My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?”
So he expresses this deep and very real pain that he is experiencing. It doesn’t tell us exactly what the struggle was. It may have been some sort of persecution for his faith because he refers to people saying “Where is your God?”
But whatever the reason is, the writer here was going through a time of life that was very difficult, it was a time when the writer felt like God wasn’t even there. He actually expresses this feeling in verse 9 when he says, “I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me?”
But I what does the writer do with these feelings? Does he abandon God and walk away from him just because things are getting rough?
No, he leans all the more closer to God.
And that is going to lead us to our second point in these verses.
FRIENDS OF GOD LEAN ON GOD (x2)
True friendship isn’t proven when times are going good and everything is easy. The real test of a friendship is what happens to the relationship when things are really difficult.
In my own life, I have one person in particular who I can say has been the best example of this in my life. He’s stuck with me through everything. When times were rough, he didn’t abandon the friendship all together or stop talking to me until I was doing better. He pursued me. He stuck with me. He was all the more of a friend to me.
The same goes with God. When things are really hard in your life, what is your response to God? Do you put God on hold for a while until things are all better? Or do you press into God all the more in those times? Do you lean on God in those times?
This is certainly what the Psalmist did.
Look at verse 4
Psalm 42:4 ESV
These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival.
So what does the Psalmist do at this point? He chooses to do the exact opposite of what we would all probably be tempted to do, to forget about God.
He says, “these things I remember!”
How important it is for us to remember God! How needed it is for us, as says, to keep our eyes set on things above, and to determine in our hearts that no matter what is going on in my life, I am not going to take my eyes off of you God!
Man, that is convicting to me.
Keep your eyes on God.
Don’t look at the situation your in, look at God, lean on God. That is what a true friend of God does!
And just look at how it continues to go in verse 4. What are the things that he decides to remember?
He
He remembers those times when he enjoyed the goodness of God.
He says, “God, I remember that you are good! I remember those times when I was full of the joy of your presence! And I’m going to hold on to that truth.”
One of my favorite passages in Scripture is . It says,
Psalm 16:11 ESV
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
I think of Jesus when he was speaking to Peter after a bunch of people stopped following him, and he says in , “Do you guys want to go away as well?”
And Peter responds, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
That’s what friendship looks like.
“God this is really hard right now, but I’m going to stick with you. Where else am I going to go? You alone have the words of eternal life.”
Let’s go ahead and finish the rest of
Psalm 42:7–11 ESV
Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
And this is going to lead us to the last point that I have for you guys today.
Friends of God Trust in God
I know this might sound a little bit like the last point, that friends of God lean on God.
But trusting in God means that we have come to a place where we are fully convinced as to who God is.
What do I mean by that.
It takes that longing for God, and that leaning on God, to finally come to a place where you really trust God.
And you see that struggle taking place in the heart of the Psalmist here so powerfully. At one moment, he is feeling like he is totally forsaken from God, look at verse 9 again. “I say to God, my rock: Why have you forgotten me?,” and the next moment he literally commands his soul to hope in God, to praise him, to have faith in his salvation.
And that’s the place that God wants to bring us all to today.
It’s a normal thing to doubt as Christians. There have been plenty of times in my own walk with God where I have had tremendous doubts. But God used all of those times to bring me to a place of deeper faith and trust in him.
You know, with all of this said, I just want to leave you guys with one last word.
We aren’t always the best of friends towards God. We go back and forth in our walks. And as time improves, I think we get a little better at it. But let me just say, that the only reason why we are able to be better friends with God is because of
1 John 4:19 ESV
We love because he first loved us.
Jesus is the best friend that we could ever ask for.
He is a perfect friend, a friend who will never leave you, nor ever forsake you.
Let me repeat that, he will NEVER leave you, nor EVER forsake you.
He is a friend of sinners, and he is our great example of true friendship.
John 15:15 ESV
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.
Let’s walk in friendship with Jesus. That’s what Christianity is all about. Amen?
Maybe you play a sport together,
’m not telling you guys you need
So I’m not telling you guys to get rid of all your friends, unless they really are a bad influence… (??), but what I am saying is that the friends we choose are going to have a major influence on our lives.
or you have been classmates since you were young.
Maybe you met at church. Think about some of those things for a minute.
With all that said, this morning I want to focus on one friendship, and it is by far the most important one that we can ever have. And that is our friendship with God. Choosing to be a friend of God is the most important choice that you can ever make during this life time.
Let me ask you guys…
What is a friend?
P
Psalm 42 ESV
To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah. As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival. Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
- Get answers
I read a definition about friendship, and I think it really fits the Biblical perspective friendship, and it is simply this: a friend is Someone who you are close to, pretty simple right?
A friend is a simply a person that you have decided to invest your life into. For whatever reason, this particular person stuck out to you, and you decided that you wanted to get close to them and develop a relationship.
This can happen in all sorts of different ways. Sometimes you are hanging out with a group of your other friends, and you meet someone that sparks your attention and you become friends with that person from that day on. Other times, we have to work to become friends with certain people. Maybe we don’t necessarily connect with a certain person as easily, but we decide in our minds that we want to get close, so we put in the effort.
But what I want you guys to see this morning is that Friendship is a very powerful thing.
What do I mean by that?
Well, the people that you choose to be your friends are usually going to have the biggest influence on your life.
And this can go either way. You can have friends in your life who influence you in very good and godly ways, I think of all those people in my life who have pushed me closer to Jesus and encouraged me.
But there can also be friends who influence you in a very negative way.
And that’s really important for all of us to know. Just because you are close to someone doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good thing.
Let’s start by looking at a few verses that talk about how much friendships can have an affect on our lives.
(Helpers) - , ,
Might want to put a tab in it
Someone read
ESV
Make no friendship with a man given to anger,
nor go with a wrathful man,
lest you learn his ways
and entangle yourself in a snare.
Now first let me tell you what this verse is not saying. This verse definitely isn’t saying not to be friends with someone who has gotten angry. If that were the case, we would have to give up all of our friends because everyone is a sinner. And obviously that goes against what Christianity is all about. But what I really see in this verse is that, if you are hanging out with somebody who is constantly angry, or constantly has a bad attitude, unless you’re totally full of the Holy Spirit, there’s a good chance that their attitude is going to rub off on you too.
And you need to be really careful about those people. Often times, we think that we can go into a friendship and help somebody change, and by God’s grace we can do that. But at the same time, it’s a lot easier to pull somebody down than it is to lift them up.
Let me get a couple of volunteers this morning, I want to demonstrate this for you guys.
So did it look easier for __ to lift up __, or the other way?
This is often how it can be in friendship.
That’s exactly how David says it in Psalm chapter 1
ESV
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
So there is a powerful thing that happens when you spend time around certain people. just look at the progression that goes on in these verses.
First you’re walking in the counsel of the wicked. You hear the advice of the world in how to live your life, and you’re like, yeah that’s pretty cool. I like that.
Instagram..?? Facebook…?? Drugs…?? Parties…??
Next you find yourself standing in the way of sinners. Your worldly wisdom led you to be standing in a really worldly situation.
And finally, you’re sitting in the seat of scoffers. Now you’re fully in that lifestyle, fully comfortable living in your sin. And you’re scoffing at anyone who would think otherwise.
Wanna know why people mock Christianity? Because they are sitting right there in the seat of scoffers.
Someone Read
ESV
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
EDIT HERE!!!
So what does that mean? Well based on my definition of friendship, that it is simply being “close” to someone, or in this case, something, it means that we even as believers can act like we’re friends of the world.
What does this mean? Is it saying that we shouldn’t have friends who are in this world? No, if that were the case, we should have all been taken to heaven as soon as we believed in Jesus, for there would be no reason for us to still be here.
Jesus himself prayed in , “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”
But even with this in mind, we as Christians can still choose to be friends of this world, which in these verses is talking about the world’s system.
The Bible says in that Satan is the god (little g) of this world.
So just think about that, if you decide to become friends with the world, with the world system, you may not like to think this, but you are actually making yourself a friend of the Devil. That’s really what it comes down to. Either you are a friend of God, you are a friend of the Devil.
Jesus went so far when he was speaking to some of the religious leaders, that he actually told them that their Father was the Devil. If Now if you are a genuine Christian today, your father definitely is not the devil. Realize that. No matter what kind of sin you may be struggling with today, the Devil will never be your Father if you are born again. But even with that said, you can still choose to be Satan’s friend. There’s a difference.
So with all that said, we are going to take a slight turn and focus on our main point for the rest of this study: Friendship with God
Earlier I said that friendship is simply being close to someone.
But guys, I really want to focus on this because this is by far the most important friendship we can ever choose to have, friendship with God.
So in the rest of our time, we are going to look at three main characteristics of someone who is a friend of God. And the main text that we are going to be looking at is .
Now I just want to say that I can’t tell you how many times I have read through this chapter of Psalms throughout my life. It’s been such a sweet one to me.
But as I was just looking at it this week, God gave me a totally new glimpse at it this week as I was studying in light of friendship.
So let’s start with verses 1 and 2
ESV
As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
My first point to you all about what a Friend of God looks like is this.
FRIENDS OF GOD LONG FOR GOD (x 2)
Just look at the image that this Psalm paints here.
He opens up the Psalm with this deep cry of longing and thirst from the depths of his soul for God. Just this absolute dependency upon God.
He compares the thirsting of his soul to a deer panting for flowing water.
And just think about that for a second. That deer is helpless, it’s lifeless, it’s lost, without having that flowing stream to provide for it’s need of thirst.
And I love that it says a flowing stream.
You know, I don’t really understand deers, I’m not really sure if they can drink still water or not. Maybe one of you deer experts would be able to enlighten me.
But I still love the picture here, of this deer that’s longing for the flowing water.
And he uses this to compare this deep thirsting of his soul living God.
It speaks so much of the longing of our human soul to be refreshed by the life-giving Spirit of God. Nothing else can quite satisfy in the same way that God can. Friends of God realize this and they come to him daily for that refreshment that they so desperately need. And my question to you guys here is this. Do you guys see your absolute need for God? Do you depend on God for your daily needs? He wants to give you that refreshment that only He can give.
ESV
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The second thing I notice in verse two is that this longing for God produces a desire to be with God. Just like any human friendship. Those people that you consider to be your close friends are the people that you want to spend the most amount of time with, right? How much more, as Friends of God, should we desire to walk with him in that close fellowship? And ultimately, as Friends of God, our hearts should long for the day when we are finally with God face to face. Are your hearts longing to be with God today? Are your hearts burning for the day that Jesus comes back and we are reunited to the God who saved us and promised us an abundant and eternal life with him? This is just so good!
Let’s move on to verses 3-6
ESV
My tears have been my food
day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”
These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng
and lead them in procession to the house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
a multitude keeping festival.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
My soul is cast down within me;
therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
from Mount Mizar.
So at the beginning of the Psalm, we see the writers deep longing that he has for God.
Now we take a turn, and he’s going to begin writing about this intense struggle that he is facing. He says in Verse three, “My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?”
So right here he expresses this deep and very real pain that he is experiencing. It doesn’t tell us exactly what the struggle was. It may have been some sort of persecution for his faith because he refers to people saying “Where is your God?” And later he talks about his enemies taunting him.
But whatever the reason is, the writer here was going through a time of life that was very difficult, it was a time when the writer felt like God wasn’t even there. He actually expresses this feeling in verse 9 when he says, “I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me?”
But I what does he do with these feelings? Does he abandon God Does he walk away from God just because things are getting rough? No, he leans all the more closer to God.
And that is going to lead us to our second point.
FRIENDS OF GOD LEAN ON GOD (x2)
True friendship isn’t proven when times are going good and everything is easy. The real test of a friendship is what happens to the relationship when things are really difficult.
In my own life, I have one person in particular who I can say has been the best example of this in my life. He’s stuck with me through everything. When times were rough, he didn’t abandon the friendship all together or stop talking to me until I was doing better. He pursued me. He stuck with me. He was all the more of a friend to me.
The same goes with God. When things are really hard in your life, what is your response to God? Do you put God on hold for a while until things are all better? Or do you press into God all the more in those times? Do you lean on God when things are difficult?
This is certainly what the Psalmist did at this point.
Look at verse 4
ESV
These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng
and lead them in procession to the house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
a multitude keeping festival.
So what does the Psalmist do at this point? He chooses to do the exact opposite of what we would all probably be tempted to do, to forget about God. He says, “these things I remember!” How important it is for us to remember God! How needed it is for us to keep our eyes set on things above, … to determine in our hearts that no matter what is going on in my life, I am not going to take my eyes off of you God!
Man, that is convicting to me. Keep your eyes on God.
Don’t look at the situation your in, look at God, lean on God. That is what a true friend of God does!
And just look at how it continues to go on in verse 4.
What are the things that he decides to remember?
He remembers those times when he enjoyed the goodness of God.
He says, “God, I remember that you are good! I remember those times when I was full of the joy of your presence! And I’m going to hold on to that truth.”
I think of Jesus when he was speaking to Peter after a bunch of people stopped following him, and he says in to his 12 disciples, “Do you guys want to go away as well?”
And Peter’s response is great, he says, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
That’s what friendship looks like.
You might be thinking, “God this is really hard right now, but I’m going to stick with you. Where else am I going to go? You alone have the words of eternal life.”
Let’s go ahead and finish the rest of
Psalm 42:7–11 ESV
Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
ESV
ESV
Deep calls to deep
at the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves
have gone over me.
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God, my rock:
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?”
As with a deadly wound in my bones,
my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
And this is going to lead us to the last point that I have for you guys today.
Friends of God Trust in God
I know this might sound a little bit like the last point, that friends of God lean on God. But trusting in God means that we have come to a place where we are fully convinced as to who God is. It starts with that longing for God, and the longing for God brings us to lean on God, but finally after you have leaned on God, God’s ultimate goal for you is that you would truly learn how to trust him.
And you see that struggle taking place in the heart of the Psalmist here so powerfully. At one moment, he is feeling like he is totally forsaken from God, and the next moment he literally commands his soul to hope in God, to praise him, to have faith in his salvation.
And that’s the place that God wants to bring us all to today. Look Christians, It’s a normal thing to doubt at times. There have been plenty of times in my own walk with God where I have had tremendous doubts. But God used all of those times to bring me to a place of deeper faith and trust in him. And it’s almost like that cycle is going to continue for the rest of our lives. We long for God, we choose to lean on God, and we learn to trust in God. And that, my friends, is the power of friendship with God.
You know, with all of this said, I just want to leave you guys with one last word.
We aren’t always the best of friends towards God. We go back and forth in our walks. There are times where we are longing and leaning and trusting in God. And there are also other times when we mess up. And as time improves, I think we get a little better at it, I think we grow in our loyalty towards God. But let me just say, that the only reason why we are able to be better friends with God, and really with each other is because of
ESV
1 John 4:19 ESV
We love because he first loved us.
We love because he first loved us.
Guys and girls, Jesus is the best friend that we could ever ask for. He is a perfect friend, a friend who will never leave you, nor ever forsake you. Let me repeat that, he will NEVER leave you, nor EVER forsake you. He is a friend of sinners, and he is our great example of true friendship. He’s the friend who loved us so deeply that he was willing to lay down his life for his friends. Let those words just sink deeply into your hearts today. If you are a Christian today, you are a friend of Jesus. You are a friend of God. What more could you possibly need? Pray
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