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Saturday, September 21, 2019
Baptist Church

Friendships That Build Up

Wednesday, March 04, 2015 View Comments Comments (0)
 “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Corinthians 1:4
 

When considering what makes a friendship truly beneficial I believe that especially when hurting what we need most from our friends is not their pious platitudes, but for them to hurt with us, to just be there for us.

This lesson is illustrated in nature. You may have noticed that when the geese fly south they do so in a “V” formation. This enables them, as a group, to fly 71% farther than they would by themselves. What happens is the fresh geese take the lead in this “V” formation reducing the wind resistance for the weary that follow.

I’d heard this illustration several times but what I was not aware of was how the sick or wounded geese would actually fly inside the “V” where there is the least wind resistance. And if there is one that is ailing and has to land, two other geese would accompany that one and nurse and protect it until it can rejoin the flock.

The lesson we learn from God’s creation is that we need each other. We are stronger together and often times the very people in our path have been placed there for us to share our comfort with. These God ordained opportunities are God’s way of saying, “I want to use you to encourage this person.”

Notice our text says, “…we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” Here’s the thing about how comfort works, the comfort you offer is the comfort you’ve received. So if you’re one of those who have a difficult time letting people help you, you’ll have nothing to give out. Our troubles should cause us to draw closer to other believers, not withdraw. This is what the Scriptures teach us about friendship and comfort.

In being a real friend who is there for other people don’t just blurt out a verse and walk away thinking you’ve done them a great favor. The problem most people have with us sharing Bible verses in their time of discomfort is our failure to live those verses out ourselves. We must be aware, present and engaged in the lives of our friends. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

The wonderful thing about the Scriptures is that they not only instruct us to comfort one another, but also how to do it and where that comfort actually comes from. I have nothing of benefit to share with you apart from what the Word of God says. In studying Scripture I’ve always been told that when you see the word “therefore” you need to ask what it is there for. If you go back to the prior verses in 1 Thessalonians 5 to vv.9-10 it says, “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with Him.” Christ is where we receive the ultimate comfort, the promise of eternal life, and it is by knowing Him that we can comfort those who need comfort.

We desperately need encouragement and building up from our fellow Christians so we can press on. If you’re hurting today, call a friend who you know will build you up! Maybe you aren’t hurting today but you know someone who is, take the time to pray for them and the opportunity to offer encouragement and offer the comfort they need that is available through Christ.

david ><{(‘>


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