Church Blog

The Blessing of Friends

Chad Haygood

At the very end of 2 Timothy, some of the final words that we have from the Apostle Paul before he passed into eternity, we see a surprising desire from Paul. Maybe it shouldn't be that surprising but coming from the tough, Christ-dependent, ready-for-eternity Paul it does come across somewhat surprising. What's one of his desires? He wants a friend. Isn't that remarkable? At the end of his life, as he faces unspeakable circumstances, Paul wants what you and I would want, a friend.

In the second half of 2 Timothy 4 Paul expresses this in several ways. He repeats his desire for Timothy to come to him, he recounts the pain of desertion that he's felt, and he sends greetings to other friends. It's not hard to see that friendship, or what we often call fellowship, was important to Paul. Far from being a trivial request, what we see is that RELATIONSHIPS MATTER!

But don't we all understand that already? We know the pain of loneliness. I hope you know the blessing of a good friend. We all know the comfort of encouragement and the means of God's grace that a good friend can be. So why would you not avail yourself of such means?

Growing friendships are not always easy. For some they take time, energy, and faith that may seem impossible. But it's worth it! In Scripture we're called encourage one another, build one another up, carry one another's burden, pray for one another, and the list could go on and on. In short, Scripture calls us to be good friends to one another.

Are you a good friend to someone else? We are all looking for a good friend for ourselves, but I believe God would have us begin by being a good friend to someone else. Is there someone you know to be lonely? How can you encourage them? Is someone struggling? How can you pray for them? These relationships are not meaningless! 

Friends are a blessing. Yet despite our need for friends, we would be wrong if stopped our discussion with human relationships. In the magnificence of God's grace, He has given us a friend that we need. Jesus, our Savior and our King, is also a friend to sinners like you and me. He loves us, encourages us, always looks out for our good, never fails to respond, and never leaves us. It's clear from 2 Timothy 4 that Paul also knew the pain of desertion. In human relationships, its a sad reality. And yet with Christ, we will never experience desertion. What a friend we have in Jesus. This is what kept Paul going! He boldly declares that despite being deserted, "But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me." The best of friends!

May we all know the blessing of good friendships. Let's be good friends to one another, not because we need a good friend but because we have a good friend, Jesus. Let's rest in the joy of walking with Him and following His example, love one another, well.