Recently I had a person telling me he lives in the way of a storm which was going to hit his region really bad. He mentioned people are panicking all around the place. I told him not to panic himself but take all the precautions being given by the civil authorities over there. And he agreed to do so. A thought then crossed my mind; why don’t their relatives and friends from other states try to help such people? It’s not possible for everyone to help but it’s not impossible to sincerely care at the same time.
Now a storm of life need not a physical storm. It can be a financial storm; extreme debt and poverty. It can be a medical storm; sudden heart attacks. It can a relational storm; affairs or divorces. What matters is whether you as a believer try to care and help your friends and relatives when they are faced with such storms.
One can give excuses to stop caring and helping, all day long but God knows the human heart all too well. Nothing ever escapes his sight and no one can escape his judgement by acting faithless. That being said God knows your capacity and the extent to which you can help your friends and relatives. It’s just a matter of what you do for them when are faced with the storms of life.
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? (Isaiah 58:7)
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8)
There’s one storm of life people shy away from; a spiritual storm. People keep away from others who face spiritual storms. Such storms can be; doubting God, backsliding, spiritual attacks etc. They will say they don’t know what to do, but my contention is that they can always ask their preachers about situation and then help their friends and family.
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galations 6:10)
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. (James 5:14)
A wonderful message by Thomas à Kempis on having a Close Friendship with Jesus:
When Jesus is with us, all is well, and nothing seems hard but when Jesus is absent, everything is difficult. When Jesus does not speak to the heart, all other comfort is unavailing; but if Jesus speaks but a single word, we are greatly comforted. Did not Mary Magdalene rise at once from the place where she wept, when Martha said, `The Master is come, and is asking for you’ (John 11:28)? Oh, happy the hour when Jesus calls us from tears to joy of spirit! How arid and hard of heart you are without Jesus! How foolish and empty if you desire anything but Jesus! Surely, this is a greater injury to you than the loss of the whole world!
What can the world offer you, without Jesus? To be without Jesus is hell most grievous; to be with Jesus is to know the sweetness of Heaven. If Jesus is with you, no enemy can harm you. Whoever finds Jesus finds a rich treasure, and a good above every good. He who loses Jesus, loses much indeed, and more than the whole world. Poorest of all men is he who lives without Jesus, and richest of all is he who stands in favor with Jesus.
It is a great art to know how to hold converse with Jesus, and to know how to keep Jesus is wisdom indeed. Be humble and a man of peace, and Jesus will abide with you. But if you turn aside to worldly things, you will soon cause Jesus to leave you, and you will lose His grace. And if you drive Him away and lose Him, with whom may you take refuge, and whom will you seek for your friend? Without a friend, you cannot live happily, and if Jesus is not your best friend, you will be exceedingly sad and lonely; so it is foolish to trust or delight in any other. It is better to have the whole world as your enemy, than offend Jesus. Therefore, of all dear friends, let Jesus be loved first and above all.
Love all men for Jesus’ sake, but Jesus for Himself. Jesus Christ alone is to be loved with an especial love, for He alone is the best and most faithful of friends. In Him and for His sake love both friend and foe, and pray to Him for all of them, that all may know and love Him. Do not wish to become the object of especial praise or love, for this belongs to God alone, who has none like Himself. Do not desire that the heart of anyone be given wholly to yourself, and do not yield yourself wholly to the love of anyone; rather, let Jesus abide in you, and in every good person.
Be pure and free of heart, untrammeled by any created thing. Offer to God a pure and spotless heart, if you wish to be at liberty, and see how gracious the Lord is. Unless His grace draw and guide you, you will never attain this; but once you have cast aside and forsaken all else, you may be united to Him alone. When the grace of God comes to a man, he is strong in all things; but when it departs, he is left poor and weak, and feels abandoned to punishment and sorrow. When this happens to you, do not despair or be discouraged, but accept God’s will calmly, bearing all that befalls you for the glory of Christ; for after winter comes summer, night turns to day, and after a storm comes fair weather (Ps.107:29; Matt.8:26).
A worthless man plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire. A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends. A man of violence entices his neighbor and leads him in a way that is not good. (Proverbs 16:27-29)
Beware of vile little haters who seek to break up friendships and happiness in your life. So say a firm NO to such individuals no matter how much they coax you to open up to them, especially once you have already noticed them destroying frienships and reputations of others. Never assume that they won’t try their deception with you and your friends and relatives. Be warned and be blessed!
A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.(Proverbs 18:24)
He that walketh with wise men becometh wise; but a companion of the foolish will be depraved.(Proverbs 13:20)
Make no friendship with an angry man, and go not with a furious man; lest thou learn his paths, and get a snare to thy soul. (Proverbs 22:24-25)
When making friends beware of those who are false friends or give to wickedness. These follow the ways of their true master, the Devil himself. All they bother is how much of benefit they can extract from you. In your good times their will help themselves to your luxuries but in times which are hard, they will keep away from you.
“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” (Thomas Aquinas)
Judas Iscariot the vile little betrayer of Jesus Christ our Lord, too was a false friend. All he loved was himself even though he witnessed the glorious miracles of Jesus firsthand. Due to Judas’ obsession with earthly riches, he betrayed Jesus unto his death. It was better for Judas, that he were never even born than to sin greatly against the Saviour of the world. Fake and false friends are therefore in the same category like Judas Iscariot. Take note of that if you want some logic in any true and lasting friendship with anyone.
“It is only the great hearted who can be true friends. The mean and cowardly, can never know what true friendship means.” (Charles Kingsley)
If any so called friend entices you to sin in anyway, then reject that little minion right away. Do not hesitate at all. You are free to say NO to all such people who knowingly or unknowingly target your holiness in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Don’t try to be a hero if bad friend is giving you bad counsel and follow his or her advice. For instance bad counsel in which you are told to rob a bank, or do drugs, or just flirt with a person who is not your spouse. Why do you want to risk your soul and reputation so see a smile on their faces when they see you crashing down? Will their smile cool down the fires of hell prepared for sinners? So then don’t be a hero but be a wise one and walk away from such corrupted people.
My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. (Proverbs 1:10)
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Proverbs 13:20)
Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge. (Proverbs 14:)
Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare. (Proverbs 22:24-25)
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:3)