"The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray."
- Proverbs 12:26 NKJV
I recently heard from a high school student who was struggling in her walk with God. She was attending a public school, and she didn't have any Christian friends. As a result, she felt herself drifting further and further away from God, and she found herself doing things she knew no Christian should be doing. Whenever she tried sharing her faith with her unsaved friends, they made it clear that they weren't the least bit interested, and she began feeling more and more isolated and alone. I understood this young girl's situation, and my heart went out to her. I began telling her how I raised two sons who had to deal with being Christian students in a public high school and college, and who genuinely wanted to live their lives for Christ. When they refused to associate with friends who hindered their walk with God, the Lord sent them godly friendships which far exceeded the ones they left behind. But they had to pray and trust God, and even be lonely sometimes.
When we sincerely want to have godly companions, the Lord will bring them across our paths in amazing ways. In my oldest son, Joseph's, case, God used a yearly event called, "See You at the Pole". It's when Christian students and teachers rally around the school flagpole to pray. The first year Joseph attended, he didn't know if there were any real Christians in his school. But he showed up for the event, and he met lots of Christian students, many of whom became good friends of his. But the Lord didn't stop there. He used my son to launch the first successful Bible Club in his school's history. Before long, Joseph had more friends than he ever dreamed he would - friends who shared his faith and encouraged his walk with God. When Joseph graduated from high school and went on to college, one of the first things he did was join the campus Bible Club. Not only did he meet lots of new Christian friends there, but he also met his future wife, Miriam. My younger son, John's, experiences in public high school and college were very similar to Joseph's. He assumed leadership of the high school Bible Club after his brother graduated, and he not only met an abundance of wonderful Christian friends there, but he also met his future wife, Amy, when she joined the club in their senior year.
Some Christians fear that if they let God pick their friends for them, He'll send them companions who are dull and boring. I had the same fears myself years ago, when I began getting serious about my relationship with God, and I felt led to distance myself from my unsaved friends - which were my only friends at the time. I began earnestly praying that the Lord would send me the companions that He had chosen for me. I had to endure some periods of loneliness and isolation, and it wasn't easy, but I was determined to do God's will. Eventually, the Lord sent me Peggy - a fun-loving, kind, generous, and extremely supportive Christian lady. She not only makes me laugh when I need it most, but she is a powerful prayer companion, and one of my greatest sources of encouragement and inspiration. And I am eternally grateful to God for sending her my way.
The Lord has awesome godly friends picked out for each and every one of His children. But He will not force them on us. He will wait upon us to ask for them, and to do whatever needs to be done to receive them into our lives at just the right time. I urge you today not to settle for less than God's best, even where your friendships are concerned. Somewhere you have God-ordained companions just waiting for you, who will bring out the best in you, and help you become all that the Lord has created you to be!
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that it's Your desire to supply all of my needs, even my need for godly companions. Please do a new and mighty work in my heart and life now, so that I will no longer settle for second-best friendships. Give me the courage and the wisdom to wait on You for Your best in this area, and guard me from loneliness when doing Your will leads me to separate myself from my current friends. Thank You for rewarding my obedience with companions who will exceed my highest expectations in every way!
- J. M. Farro