"Friend or Foe?"
Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have friends that appear to be enemies.
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).
Our Lord is always with His trusting children in Christ. But He is "very" with us in our challenges. Thus, pain, difficulty, loss, and trouble of all sorts offer the knowledge and experience of our Lord's loving involvement that more pleasurable times cannot provide. Of course, this is not to minimize the blessings of life, nor to suggest that God does not work through them. He does, to the degree that "every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, in whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17). Our Lord loves to please us with bestowals of grace that foster and further a faithful walk with Him. In this present lifetime, however, a trouble free walk would gravely damage our awareness of need for the Lord Jesus. Moreover, the "very present help" that meets us in difficulty would have no place to rest in hearts free of care. "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart" (Psalm 34:18).
Presently, trouble serves as a friend that appears to be a foe. It may in fact be an enemy. However, anything that presses us to seek our Heavenly Father in a manner we would not have considered ultimately serves us. The Apostle Paul testified accordingly: "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). Let us acknowledge the challenging, but obvious Biblical truth. None of us would have come to the Lord Jesus had our lives been pain free, and without trouble. Nor will any of us continue to faithfully walk with Him apart from great challenge. Thus, the adversity that seems like an adversary actually serves as an ally when we see it for what it is, namely, a God-determined or allowed difficulty that provides opportunity to know His "very present help in trouble". This is the glory of the Gospel, and of the Gospel's Christ. Our Savior is so good, so great, so present, and so involved in our lives that both friend and foe ultimately serve Him, and us...
"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies."
"Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now I have kept Thy word."
Weekly Memory Verse
The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and godhead, so that they are without excuse."