Anything that causes us to seek and trust God is the friend of our hearts.
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (II Corinthians 12:10).
Note that the Apostle Paul didn’t write that he felt pleasure in his difficulties. Paul was as human as the rest of us, initially reacting to sorrowful circumstances with normal aversion and mourning (II Corinthians 4:8-9). He did, however, take pleasure by remembering and affirming that those things that reveal our human frailties provide opportunity to avail ourselves of Divine enabling. Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ seek to “be strong in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). Adversity, in whatever form and to whatever degree, motivates our hearts to remember God and His promises to infuse us with a strength that originates in Him and not ourselves.
“We were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life. But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead” (II Corinthians 1:8-9).
Sometimes “friends” come to us in strange garb. Pain, loss, destruction and heartache hardly seem like companions to welcome. If, however, they lead us to “not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead,” we will discover a transcendent Life beyond the norm of human existence. Indeed, we will discover the great Friend of our heart Himself, coming to us in ways difficult when first we see Him on our doorstep, but blessed when we embrace Him and invite Him into our painful circumstance. Again, anything that causes us to seek and trust God is the friend of our hearts. Anything.
“Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.”