Everyone needs a friend. A few good friends can make a huge difference in your life. But are your friends loyal? That’s always something we only find out when we are knee deep in trouble. There are those friends who say they are friends when the going is good. When everything is going well, they are your friends. But you see your true friends when the times get tough.
When you have to move and it’s raining, your true friends are out there helping you as their sneakers are getting soggy. When you lost your job and won’t get your next check for a few weeks, the true friend is there with some food to help you along, not pretending you don’t exist till you are back to work. The true friend gives you a ride from the inspection place when you drop off your car, rather than let you walk in the dark at the wee hours of the morning, because they are concerned for your safety.
You might have a lot of friends. But when times are tough, the number may be fewer than you thought. I have found that to be very true in my own life. People are very quick to turn their backs and pretend nothing is happening. But a “brother is born to help in the time of need.” There are those God has placed in your life who are true friends—like family. Thank God for those true friends and ask Him to help you be one of those true friends, “a friend (who) is always loyal.”
“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” – Proverbs 17:17 [NLT]
When the spies were sent into the Promised Land, the report that came back was actually two different reports. Ten of the spies admitted the land was good, but focused their attention on the giants that were in the land. They aimed to persuade the Israelites not to enter the land. Joshua and Caleb went against the majority. In Numbers 13:30, the Bible says that “Caleb tried to quiet the people.” He wanted to go “at once” and exclaimed, “We can certainly conquer it!” The account goes on to mention that Caleb had “a different attitude.”
There are many times when we should check our attitude and motives for things. It is good to ask why we are doing things. It is good to see if we are being positive or negative, believing or doubting, loyal or unfaithful. Caleb “remained loyal.” He saw giants. He saw the exact same things as everyone else. But there was a difference. He didn’t look at the giants and say, “Wow, look at those big giants. I think we should turn around.” He looked at the giants and said, “My God is big enough to do as He promised. He is faithful. We can certainly conquer this land. Let us go at once.” There is a big difference between these two statements—and it is all about the attitude—all about the focus.
Today is a good day to examine your attitude. Is your attitude different from the majority? Are you trusting God? Are you focused on giants? We each can look at the giants and see God’s great power or look at the giants and drown ourselves in fear and doubt and disbelief. Caleb had a different attitude. I pray you remain just as loyal.
“But my servant Caleb has a different attitude than the others have. He has remained loyal to me, so I will bring him into the land he explored. His descendants will possess their full share of that land.” – Numbers 14:24 [NLT]
“He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is!” – Deuteronomy 32:4 [NLT]
When I was getting myself ready, my dog Max was awaiting outside the door for me. I find it interesting that he will deprive himself of the air conditioning to wait in the hot hallway for me to finish. This loyalty shown by Max is the same loyalty we see when we look at Ruth or David. Consider how Ruth was not only loyal to Naomi, but how she also accepted God as her God, and she walked in faith despite the situation. Consider how David was anointed to be king, and yet he spent so much time running from King Saul, hiding and away from his homeland before he even became king as he was promised.
We are called to be loyal and obedient to God. This is a command that we are to follow when times are good or bad. Even when we are in the middle of a storm in life and everything is looking dim, we are to walk forward in faith, with obedience, with loyalty. The first part of the Book of Ruth notes Ruth’s faithfulness to God; the second part shows us how God is faithful to Ruth as well.
God is faithful. God is still moving in our lives today. Today may be the toughest day of your life, but remember you are not alone and God is not finished yet.