WHEN THERE IS NO FRIEND

WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL

MAY 07, 2024

TOPIC: WHEN THERE IS NO FRIEND

BY T. O. BANSO

He has removed my brothers far from me, and my acquaintances are completely estranged from me. My relatives have failed, and my close friends have forgotten me” (Job 19:13-14 New King James Version).

 In Psalm 142, David voiced his loneliness. In verses 3-4, he lamented, When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path. In the way in which I walk they have secretly set a snare for me. Look on my right hand and see, For there is no one who acknowledges me; refuge has failed me; no one cares for my soul” (New King James Version).

At the time that David sang this Psalm, he was in a cave running from Saul. He was depressed because he had no friends around. As he put it in verse 4, I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought! No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me” (New Living Translation).

Job, during his trials, said, He has removed my brothers far from me, and my acquaintances are completely estranged from me. My relatives have failed, and my close friends have forgotten me” (Job 19:13-14 New King James Version).

He said in verse 19, All my close friends abhor me, and those whom I love have turned against me” (New King James Version). He described as miserable comforters, the three friends who were supposed to comfort him but rather condemned him (Job 16:2).

Sometimes someone could find himself in a situation where he is amid enemies and has no friends or those who should be close to him have deserted him. Therefore, he could feel neglected, rejected, or lonely. This is the time when many people fall victim to wrong relationships because of the desire to satisfy their emotional need for love.

However, don’t open your life to just anyone because you are starved of love from friends and relations. You shouldn’t be under any pressure to attach yourself to just anybody or be running after human beings to be your friends.

Corrie ten Boom said, “If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.” Anyone who has had an experience of what she was talking about will have no problem agreeing with her.

Sometimes God permits loneliness in your life. He may be using such a situation to cut you off from people to do a new thing in your life and to refocus you for a life-changing, destiny-revealing phase of your life.

In a period of loneliness like this, God may be calling you into intimacy. He may want to do in your life what no friend can do. God wants to be your Friend and wants you to become close to Him to know Him in serious fellowship.

Remember, the Bible calls Abraham God’s friend. Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?” (2 Chronicles 20:7 New King James Version).

Isaiah 41:8 also reiterates the same truth: But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen,
The descendants of Abraham My friend” (New King James Version).

Also, James 2:23 refers to Abraham’s friendship with God. “And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ And he was called the friend of God” (New King James Version). Friendship with God, just like friendship with human beings, is cultivated in fellowship – sharing, communicating, studying, and understanding each other.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up” (New King James Version).
Nevertheless, there are times when God may keep friends away from you. Yes, a situation of not having any human being as a friend could be painful but when the loneliness is of God, the friendship cultivated with God during this period becomes a genuine foundation to appreciate and relate wisely with friends when God brings them later.

At that time, you won’t go into friendship with human beings with a sense of insecurity or with a selfish desire for what you want to get from your friends. You are secure in God because you have entered into friendship with Him, which you are not prepared to compromise with any other friend. Because of your understanding of that superior friendship, you can quit any friendship with a human being you know does not please God.

Don’t let friendship with human beings replace intimacy with God. There are many times that only God can help you and not men even when they have the best intentions. Yes, God uses human beings to help but do you know the persons He wants to use to help you?

That’s why you mustn’t neglect, forsake, or trivialize intimacy with God. You must love Him not in a transactional way. In order words, you must love Him not because of what you want Him to do for you or what you want to get from Him. Love Him for who He is.

Don’t neglect God because you have friends in your life. Never let any human being replace God in your life. Men will always be men. And God will always be God.

Jesus called His disciples friends (John 15:15). But they deserted Him for a while after His betrayal by one of them, Judas Iscariot, and His eventual arrest. These deserters were friends! Eleven of them came back later. Only God stood by Jesus, although He thought He had forsaken Him (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). God never forsakes His own (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; Joshua 1:5; Hebrews 13:5).

Does it mean you shouldn’t have human beings as friends? No. Even David, who complained of loneliness in Psalm 142, later had friends who contributed greatly to his success. In fact, in the cave of Adullam, 400 men in terribly bad shape came to him and he became their leader (1 Samuel 22:1-2). They later became mighty men of war.

Hushai was one of David’s friends. He helped him to frustrate the counsel of Ahitophel at the time David’s son, Absalom, rebelled against him and deposed him (2 Samuel 15:32-37; 17:1-14). 

After he fled Jerusalem, following Absalom’s rebellion, Shobi, the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the people of Ammon, Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo Debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim helped David with the provision of food and other essential things he needed (2 Samuel 17:27-29).

Don’t despise the place of friendship with human beings in your life. But don’t also neglect intimacy and friendship with God. Don’t subordinate intimacy with God to friendship with human beings. Understanding the importance of intimacy with God will even help you to have and enjoy better friendships with fellow human beings because you know that the best of men cannot be God!

Every Christian is familiar with the hymn “What a friend we have in Jesus!”? Joseph Medlicott Scriven wrote the lyrics. It is a popular inspirational hymn that has comforted so many people. Charles Crozart Converse composed the music.

What a friend you have in Jesus! No friend can compare to Him. Let no man try to play God in your life, and don’t try to in the lives of others.

Always remember that when no man is there for you, God will always be there. During the period of famine and want, where were the friends of the prodigal son he had wasted his substance in riotous living with? (Luke 15:11-16). The only person there for him was his father to whom he returned (verses 17-32).

The only person you can be sure will be there for you always, even if you are down or you miss it, is God. This is why you must move closer to Him. He will never leave you or forsake you.

Friendship with fellow human beings has great benefits but it can never replace intimacy with God. It is misplaced hope to expect human beings to do what only God can do. When there is no friend, know that God is there for you.

TAKE ACTION!

If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and cannot save yourself, and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself.  I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to cultivate intimacy with You. Help me to develop a friendship with God above friendship with human beings. Father, give me friends that will not draw my heart away from you. Give me loyal friends who will stand with me in all circumstances. Holy Spirit, help me to be such a friend.

(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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