When A Friend Suffers

This week I knew a friend had been emotionally wounded and asked what I could do to help. She lives out of town and I offered to drive there to support her. She simply said, “Pray.”

This is a woman everyone should know and have in their lives. If you are living alone, she’ll check up on you. If you have no family with whom to celebrate the holidays, she’ll invite you to join hers. If you need a friend to accompany you to an important event, she’ll volunteer. Her heart is loving, her spirit forgiving.

Knowing her adversity had come through friends she trusted, spiritual mentors who betrayed her, I could only imagine how deeply maligned she felt. Besides her request for prayer to withstand the torment she’d received, she asked me to pray for her ability to forgive, that she would not let bitterness settle in. I was humbled, aware that I might not have acted so lovingly were I wearing her shoes.

The scriptures  teach us to place our trust in the Lord. I Peter 5:7 “Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.”

In I Peter 3:14-16 we are told He will be with us through the trials. “If you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. Do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct may be ashamed. For it is better to suffer for doing good, than for doing evil.”

When the hardship ends, scripture teaches forgiveness. In Hebrews 12:14-15 it reads: “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one shall see the Lord, looking carefully less anyone fall short of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.”

And for my friend I add this verse from Matthew 5:11-12: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Thank you, my enduring friend, for letting me share in your pain and pray for you. In the midst of your difficulty you have ministered to me. For those of you reading this, I trust her example has blessed you as well.


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