In this week’s teaching Ps Paul Garner challenges us to think about our friends. Are they carrying us to Jesus, or away from him?
You may have incredible support friends who listen to you, who are loyal and who really love you, but are they carrying you towards the one who can deliver you from your situation? It’s in the trying times we learn who are real friends are. In my experience, when you live with chronic suffering, its common for people to move on without you. It’s a true friend who sticks by you through those tough times. I’m sure many of you relate to feeling abandoned by people we think are close to us. This teaching is about 4 incredible loyal friends. (Mark 2:1-11) We don’t know how long they were carrying their friend to Jesus. We do know they had faith, they knew Jesus was a good God. They knew he was the only person who could deliver their friend from his plight.
Would the paralyzed man get to Jesus on his own? Not a chance! He relied upon his friends.
Are you paralyzed right now? I don’t mean necessarily physically, but do you feel like you’re stuck or standing still, like you can’t move forward? Great friends encourage you to keep on trusting. Amazing friends point you to the Word of God. Are your friends helping or hindering you? Do they speak words of life and faith over you?
Maybe you need to make changes.
Who are you carrying? Even when we’re unwell, we can still carry others to Jesus. Often we pray for a miracle without realising that we are the miracle!! Have you encouraged anyone today?
If you’re needing breakthrough in your situation, like the man in our story, then look at those around you. “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future”.
So what is a good friend? Someone with empathy and compassion. Someone who honours you and listens to you. A good friend will speak truth and not be afraid of challenging you or holding you accountable.
“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” Pro 18:24
Next step: Evaluate your friends. Do you need to make any changes? Who have you encouraged recently? Why don’t you send someone a message or scripture today?