“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
~Proverbs 17: 17
A funny thing happens when we go through trials and seasons of suffering. Some people we think are friends suddenly disappear while others show up in positive ways we don’t expect. Still others may actually turn around and attack us while we’re down, causing a new and disorienting layer of pain.
However people react, it’s always the seasons of trial that show us who our true friends are…and who they aren’t. True friends are a blessing from the Lord and so deeply appreciated during our low points, but fakes and snakes cause wounds to our soul that add more pain to what is already a difficult time. It’s the fakes and snakes that the Enemy uses, and sometimes strategically positions, in order to hurt us and this, I believe, is one of his favorite (and most effective) ways in which to plant seeds of bitterness and distrust in the hearts of believers.
One way we can combat this scheme of the Enemy is to continually thank God for the true friends He provides. If everyone has turned out to be fakes or snakes (believe me, I’ve been there!), then we can thank God for Himself being our truest and most faithful friend. If nothing else, we can express gratitude for the revelation and knowledge of truth, which is always a blessing even when difficult.
After all, we can’t make wise decisions moving forward if we don’t really know who is for us and who is against us. Without dismissing the pain of abandonment and betrayal, we can understand that God is clearing out the chaff from our lives to prepare us for a better future. For what the Enemy means for harm (to create wounds of bitterness through rejection and abandonment), God uses for good (to reveal and remove the bad to create more space for good). God will reveal and remove the fakes and snakes from us in order to prepare us for the future in the same way we would remove weeds from the ground before planting a beautiful garden. And for that, we can always give thanks.
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”
Lord, give us the strength we need to endure our trials and the fortitude to accept who our true friends are and who they aren’t. We thank you for being a true friend to us, especially in our low points, and for loving us no matter what. Help us to forgive those who betray us and give us the faith to believe in your goodness through all of life’s circumstances. In Jesus’ name, amen.