“A friend loves…'”
* sometimes…
* at convenient times…
* at others successful times…if they can somehow be associated with them..
* at self serving times…
* at others prestigious times…to BE associated with their ‘success’, popularity of others…if they can be somehow be part of the “in crowd,” and identified with them, though maybe never having contributed, but just like the praises of others and to be seen as a “somebody,” drawing their significance from their “identification.” A little like sports teams, you know when teams are doing well, people often talk of “we” as if they themselves were playing or had anything physically to do with winning a game, and when they lose its often “they” that they speak of not wanting to be identified with them, trying to put as much distance between themselves and the “team.” Often called “fair weathered,” There is such a “love” that is fair weathered, self focused.

Such “love” is devoid of sacrifice concern for others. It is often self promoted, self seeking and it is not Christian love and is not true friendship for at the root is self! Using others for selfish gain, not serving them for Christ sake and their ultimate good. True love and self love are not the same. One is me centered the other is – Others centered “…ourselves YOUR servants, for Jesus sake! {2 Cor 4:5}.

“A friend loves at ALL times and {as} a brother is born for adversity”-{Prov 17:17}. In prosperity and adversity, a friend loves! It is in adversity as a “brother,” tenderness and affectionate, warmly is lovingly loyal, caring and in it for the long haul whatever the adversity. It is as though he or she is born for such a time as this to be an assistance, companion and committed to the one in adversity. Adversity often reveals the depth or lack thereof of our affection, compassion, commitment to the one in adversity. It was Job in the midst of his horror said,” in times of adversity there should be KINDNESS from his friends…-{Job 6:14}.

The adversity, misfortune, hurt of another is treated as your own! The reality of true Friendship is often manifested in the crucible of adversity. It is often revealed for what it really is.

True love is loyal, others orientated, committed, compassionate, in it for the long haul for the benefit of …the other, in this case the verse says,”adversity.” In tough troubling times, there is one, as though they were brought into the world specifically with this one assignment, be as a brother to the one in adversity. Such is a true friend, they “love at all times.” Their love and friendship is not superficial but compassionately sacrificial! As Paul testified, “…And they exceeded our expectations:They gave themselves first of all to the Lord,and then by the will of God also to us.”-{2 Cor 8:5}. Note the order, they gave THEMSELVES FIRST to the LORD… and THEN to us…” The giving of themselves to the LORD did not isolate them but like the good Samaritan ended up with INVOLVEMENT with the man “in the ditch” in his own adversity!

Giving ourselves to the LORD will be manifested in giving ourselves to serve others, for… THEIR benefit!

True, it is easy “to grow weary of doing good…” as you may not always be appreciated, loved back, exhausted from emotionally giving and giving, but the motivation to keep before you is “…ourselves YOUR servants, FOR JESUS SAKE” -{2 Cor 4:5}…Do what you do for Jesus sake!

While some distance themselves, walk out the door, the “friend” remains and “loves at all times”, including times of adversity!” What a Friend we have in Jesus! He loves us and is loyal in times of adversity, failures, fears, He never leaves nor forsakes!

We can all thank Him for a “friend” who loves “at all times” and especially those in times of “adversity” CHOOSE to love. But the question to ask ourselves is “What type of friend am I? Am I a loving, loyal, other orientated person, seeking their highest good, DOING IT FOR JESUS SAKE? When adversity strikes do I draw near to stay and help,In it for the long haul, like the good Samaritan, or do I walk away, because it is not convenient?

We all may say we would like “a friend who loves at all times and {as} a brother who is born for adversity,” BUT We need to PRAY and PURSUE being such a friend to…others…All as we need is ….PEOPLE to do so, and wherever we are in this world we find that there is no shortage of people… and those who are in times of “adversity.” What may be a shortage of is “a friend who loves at all times,{as} a brother who is born for adversity.”

* A person in need, is an opportunity for YOU and me to Exercise Love and Genuine friendship!

Daily you have wonderful opportunities to deposit your lives into others and be a “friend that loves at all times…” What people need is your friendship, love, loyalty in times of adversity, that men may SEE your GOOD WORKS and GLORIFY your Father in Heaven.” {Matt 5}

I guess, it comes down to a choice… am I seeking a friend or am I seeking TO BE be a friend?

We have a glorious Motivation…

“…Ourselves your servants¬†For Jesus SAKE…”-{2 Cor 4:5}

What makes us a friend? What should our aim be?