Proverbs 18:24 – “There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” NLT

I like this particular rendering of this passage because of the simplicity of how it phrases the statement.  Truly, we have all had “friends’ that turned out not to be true friends and did more detriment in our lives and we in theirs than good.  Yet, we also have known those individuals who proved to be closer than “blood kin”.  They are true treasures that one has few of in a lifetime and should treasure them and treat them as treasures.  Yet, we have in Jesus a friend that although He is a brother stands closer than any “blood kin” could or would ever stand.  He will never LEAVE us nor FORSAKE us.  His Love is Unconditional and Inseparable. 
I think of the Hymn – “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” written by Joseph M. Scriven as a poem in 1855 to comfort his mother who was living in Ireland while he was living in Canada.  The tune to the hymn was composed by Charles Crozat Converse in 1868 and William Bolcom composed a setting of the hymn.  It has had many modifications and transitions through the years, but the baseline theme has remained the same – – The unequaled friendship of Jesus in all life’s trials is the bedrock of the song.
Consider the words:
What A Friend We Have In Jesus Hymn
What a friend we have in Jesus, 
all our sins and griefs to bear! 
What a privilege to carry 
everything to God in prayer! 
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear, 
all because we do not carry 
everything to God in prayer. 

Have we trials and temptations? 
Is there trouble anywhere? 
We should never be discouraged; 
take it to the Lord in prayer. 
Can we find a friend so faithful 
who will all our sorrows share? 
Jesus knows our every weakness; 
take it to the Lord in prayer. 

Are we weak and heavy laden, 
cumbered with a load of care? 
Precious Savior, still our refuge; 
take it to the Lord in prayer. 
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? 
Take it to the Lord in prayer! 
In his arms he’ll take and shield thee; 
thou wilt find a solace there.

As you read and probably sang those verses, at least in your hearts, you immediately had a sense of His presence, promise, provision, and power.  How true we forfeit peace by failing to come to the Cross with those things that trouble our souls.  We bear needless spiritual pain that He would gladly lift if we would learn to roll them onto Him accepting His sacrificial offer as seen at the Cross. 
We have, do, or will face discouragement, despondency, and even bouts with depression but if we turn to the Lord, our friend we rise out of the ashes of hopelessness into the bliss of optimism in His Promises.  As we find that we can hardly go on another mile, He lightens our load, allows us to be carried in His arms over the rocky part of the pathway, and renew our strength so that we can walk, run, and soar with and in Him once again.  It is all because of His commitment to Covenant Friendship that we are afforded this bountiful place.
So, as you begin this day consider who it is that you call a friend.  After you have enumerated the many names you will call ask yourself who is the one friend who not only would die for you but has died for you and has also risen for you and made full atonement for you before the Throne of Heaven giving you access to the very presence of the Father at all times!  JESUS is His name!  
Let this song travel through the corridors of your mind and heart as you go through your business today and I believe that you will find the difficulties easier to handle, the joys even more blessed, and the beauty of life even more beautiful.  

God bless you richly as you enjoy living your life in Him today!

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