Together is God’s Idea

Cheri Strange

 

together is god's idea

Welcome to Day 2 of Hey There, Girlfriend, a 5-day reading plan for finding courage for friendship. This plan is also available on the YouVersion app. Together, we are looking into the Word of God to discern a biblical model for friendship. And together is exactly where we land today. Yearning for companionship to share our joys, our passions, our pain, and even the mundane is not something that catches God unaware. Together is His idea.

Alone is where we find ourselves sometimes. It might be because of a job change, relocation, or school. Maybe you’ve experienced loss, suddenly finding yourself drowning in emptiness. You and I can even be alone in a crowd. Just because people are around doesn’t inoculate you from feeling isolated. Yes, alone is a familiar place for many, but alone is not how God intends for us to experience life.

Before sin entered the world, God announces the one thing in all of creation that is not good (Genesis 2:18).

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him. Genesis 2:18

We see this need met primarily through marriage, but the effects of loneliness and social isolation span across relationships. Ecclesiastes expounds upon this need by professing two are better than one, and three are even better (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12).

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12

The Bible echoes this sentiment by bringing rich examples like Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1), Paul and Timothy (2 timothy 2:3-5), Elijah and Elisha (2 Kings 2:2-12), and Moses and Aaron (Exodus 4), to name a few.

Jonathan and David are another pair highlighted in Scripture. They were unlikely friends. Jonathan should have been hunting David down with more resolve than his father, but there was no hatred and no resentment, only solidarity. Why? While Scripture doesn’t day, it points to a need.

Directly after David defeats Goliath, with nothing more than some rocks and a sling, Jonathan identifies a kindred spirit. These two find common ground in their fervor and love for God, overriding any human dissent.

As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. 3Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. 4And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. 1 Samuel 18:1-4

And when David is running for his life from Saul, Jonathan helps him find strength in the Lord (1 Samuel 23:16-17).

And Jonathan, Saul’s son, rose and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in God. 17And he said to him, “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Saul my father also knows this.” 1 Samuel 23:16-17

Courageous Faith in Friendship

Both men exhibit courageous faith, one in initiating the relationship, the other in reciprocating it. Sincere love is shared between friends devoted to one another, honoring the other above themselves. This relationship illustrates the friendship God desires for His people (Romans 12:9-10).

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:9-10

The Gospel calls us into relationships, even those that seem unlikely. It’s His good plan that you and I experience the joy, the burdens, and the gift of loving beyond ourselves that come from friendships He ordains.

Maybe you need to pray, initiate a phone call, meet up with someone for lunch, or clear your schedule to be available for someone. Today, take one step toward leaving your habits of isolation, trusting God to provide for your needed friendships.

Meet you tomorrow for Day 3. (If you would like to go back to the first day, click this link: Day 1.)

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