What Kind of Friend Are You And What Kind of Friends Do You Have

Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

Do you have any friends have been there for you in adversity? Let me ask this question, are you the friend that someone can call when they are in a time of adversity?

In Luke 5:17-26 is the account where Jesus heals a man that has palsy. Here are 4 friends, helping 1 man, making 1 trip, to get one ultimate healing.

Palsy, can affect either motor centers of the brain or the spinal cord. Sometimes it can cause a loss of sensations, and it can affect one side of the body or the whole system from the neck down. In Mark 2:3, the Bible describes this man with palsy as, “being borne of four.” Now here borne means to be brought, carried, and one definition was to be supported. So this man is depending on his four friends to get him help.

First, we see their faith caused a determination. The Bible does not say the distance that they traveled to get to the house, but you can imagine that they must have been tired. Carrying their friend, they all had to work together, and together they may have felt discouragement. They finally get to the house where Jesus is teaching, only to find that there is no way they can get inside, but the crowds would not stop them. Are there any crowds that may be stopping us from getting people to Jesus? Maybe even consider something else, are there any crowds that are keeping ourselves from getting to Jesus? We can have friends, family members, perhaps even a relationship that can be potentially be stopping us from getting to Jesus if we are not careful. I remember friends that kept inviting me to church and Bible studies and services, why, because they wanted to get me to Jesus. They knew that I was in desperate need of healing, spiritually speaking. Thank God for the friends that bring us to Jesus and let us be that friend that brings others to Christ.

Secondly, we see their faith brought restoration. As these friends are lowering down their friend from the roof, in Luke 5:20, the Bible says, “he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.” See, Jesus healed, but he did not address the physical need first. He took care of the spiritual need first. There are many people that we know that have physical needs. Maybe we are praying for those with cancer or some diagnosis that isn’t very good, and those are great things that we should pray for. But we also need to pray for people to be spiritually healed. I want to see souls saved and lives changed. Perhaps even someone that maybe was full time in ministry or involved in the things of Christ but has walked away, our prayer for healing for them would be, that they would make a return to being in fellowship with Christ personally, and other believers. In this account, we see that there were doctors, but they were the wrong doctors. Verse 17 says, “there were Pharisees and doctors of the law.”. The only thing that they wanted to diagnosis was how they may condemn the work that Christ was doing. But Christ would make it clear that “the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” May we continue to pray for those that we know that need spiritual and physical healing.and we thank God that Christ is able to forgive us and make us new again.

Lastly, we see faith was rewarded. Jesus “seeing their faith…”. Think about that, these friends of this sick man all believed in the same thing, Jesus Christ. Even the man that they are carrying, he had to have faith. He’s assuming that these men all knew what they were doing not only in bringing him to Jesus, but then lowering him through the roof to make sure that he was seen by the Great Physician.

Do we have friends like that? Maybe the question that convicts me is, am I that kind of friend? Ready to go through adversity, no matter what the obstacles could possibly be, to bring help to someone that I love and care about. Do we have friends that still believe in bringing others that are hurting and are in what seems to be helpless, hopeless, pointless situations to Christ? You see after all was said and done the man with palsy “immediately rose before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house glorifying God.” Not only did the man glory God after was made completely whole, but in verse 26, “and they were all amazed, and they glorified God…”. So when we come together and we work for the same cause and believe, and allow God to work, there is no way for those that are watching to deny the power and the working of God. May we continue to glorify God in the healing and restoring work that He is still continuing to do in the lives of people today.

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Asking for Prayer

I often feel as though, people have enough things to worry and stress about they don’t need what I’ve got going on as an added burden and if you are anything like me, you never want sympathy from anyone.

In Romans 5:30  it says, “Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.”

Here Paul is beseeching, which is another word for begging, for believers to pray for him, together. I don’t believe it was because he thought that the members of other churches had forgotten about him. I believe that he himself undestood the real power of prayer, of getting a hold of God through prayer, and seeing the results of bringing requests before God.

Paul humbled himself and asked others to pray for him. Sometimes my prides gets in the way and I come up with the wildest excuses of why not to share my struggles with anyone else. Things such  as, “They have enough going on, they don’t have time to add me to their prayer list.” Or, “I’ve got this.” Most famous line, “I don’t need any help.”

The truth is I need help. A lot of it actually, and the reality is, we are all in need of help in one way or another. Whether it’s financial, or physical, or spiritual, we all need help. Even if we think we don’t need  help, we can always use it anyway.

What better way to help someone, by lifting them up in prayer. Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace in the time of need.”

Now you may think that’s great but I don’t need any prayers because I’m hanging out in the shade drinking pink lemonade, life is all good. Well, if you’re on a mountain top so you say, here’s what the beginning of chapter 15 in Romans has to say.

“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let everyone of us please his neighbor for his good to edification.”

So those that are doing well, find someone that you can help out and minister to through prayer. Even if someone doesn’t express to you verbally that they have a heavy burden on them, pray for them anyway.

So I challenge to be praying for others. And not just saying, ‘I’ll be praying for you’ because that’s the spiritual cliché thing to say someone, but actually praying. Prayer is powerful. Without prayer, where would any one of us be right now? Prayer together as one body of believers, we can still see miracles happen.

 

“Is there any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms.” – James 5:13