Faith and Friendship

Luke 5:17 – 21, 24 – 26 One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

He said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

This man must have been a pretty special guy. After all, just look at how committed his friends were. They were determined to help him. In my opinion, this paralyzed man must have spent his life being a loyal friend. Now, in his time of need, he had many friends who were loyal to him.

We don’t really know much about this man, except that he was paralyzed, and that he had friends who were willing to go above and beyond the norm in order to help him. Because of the relationships he had built at a previous time in his life, he was blessed.

I tend to be a bit of a hermit crab, myself. I like being alone, and sometimes I can build a shell around my heart. Oh, I smile and act friendly. But I don’t always take the time required to really build those deep, long-lasting relationships. Because of that, I’ve sometimes felt lonely and abandoned during difficult times.

But take another look at the passage above. It says, “When Jesus saw their faith . . .” Wow. It wasn’t the faith of the paralytic that caught Jesus’ attention. It was the faith of his friends. Because this man had built deep, loyal friendships, he was blessed. Perhaps he was sad and depressed. Perhaps his faith had faltered. But when he was weak and helpless, the faith of his friends held him up. The faith of his friends brought a blessing on him, and he was healed.

Friends, I cannot stress to you enough how important it is for us to surround ourselves with people of faith. When our friends are going through difficult times, we must step forward and hold them up with our faith, our love, our prayers. We need to nurture and develop our relationships in the good times. And then . . . then, when our own health fails, when our own faith falters, we will not perish. We will be blessed, because the faith of our friends will hold us up.

Dear Father, Thank you for the friends who hold me up when my faith falters. Help me to be that kind of friend.


13 Responses to Faith and Friendship

  1. October 8, 2008 #

    Sweet Lady, You are that kind of friend. All I have to do is call and you are praying. May God Bless you today. Lesa

  2. October 8, 2008 #

    we’ve been praying you thru and i have felt first hand the prayers and faith you have had for me during my hard times. Love you – C

  3. October 8, 2008 #

    Hi Lesa! Thank you so much. It goes without saying how much your friendship has blessed me through the years.

    And ditto for you, Cassandra! I’m so glad God saw fit to make us friends.

    I love you both. Thank you for your prayers and friendship. Don’t know what I’d do without either one of you.

  4. October 8, 2008 #

    Very true, Renae. It is very comforting to know that God does not expect us to do everything ourselves, especially when we are weak.

  5. October 8, 2008 #

    Hi Jeanette. I am reminded that He created us for relationships – with Him and with each other.

  6. October 8, 2008 #

    Renae, I want to be that kind of friend, too! A faithful and full of faith friend. Thanks for this meaningful post!

  7. October 8, 2008 #

    Cheryl, you are that kind of friend. I’m glad we are friends. 🙂

  8. October 8, 2008 #

    Dear Renae,
    I am sure the lame man would always be there for his friends ever since that meeting with Jesus.
    Some times I think that it takes more to accept help than to be a giver .
    Then again; the strongest bonds in my life are with those of my friends with whom I’ve shared tears and laughter for mor than thirty years.
    Some times I’ve thought close friendship is such a blessing and commitment, but i can’t have more people in my life just now.
    Then God lead me to the Pilgrim Pals, a varied bunch who pray for and with each other, just at the time when my dad lied dying. And suddenly I felt lifted up across the sea, by loving, caring Christians,. No questions asked, no politics or specific church. Just plain loving, needing believers.
    Now I try to keep an open heart for both new and old friends. For they are God’s rarest gifts.
    From Felisol

  9. October 8, 2008 #

    God really does send along just the right people when we need them, doesn’t He, Felisol?

  10. October 8, 2008 #

    I think your calling is to be a friend Renae. And for what it’s worth, I think you’re pretty good at it!

  11. October 8, 2008 #

    Thanks, Jackie. That’s worth a lot, coming from you.

  12. October 8, 2008 #

    Well, let me just say that my life was blessed the day I became your friend at the Mt. Hermon Writers Conference, Renae.
    You’ve seen me through some pretty hard times, like my daughter-in-law’s thyroid cancer, and the grueling 40 days of writing my book!
    I love you and thank God for our long-distance, yet ever so close to my heart friendship.

  13. October 8, 2008 #

    Thanks, Judi. I feel the same way about you!

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