Today’s Scripture: A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

For all achievers who have tried and failed and suffered loss, only one thing can dampen the sting of defeat. It is the support of a friend. James R. Jordan, Sr. was a great basketball fan. He traveled throughout the United States to watch his son Michael play. But James was more than a fan. In the rare times when Michael had a bad game, James would still cheer him on. The emotional support energized Michael. When a newspaper columnist asked the great basketball player why he wanted his father to be in the stands during his games, Michael said, “When he’s there, I know I have at least one fan.” Michael Jordan knew, regardless of the crowd’s hostility or his on-court performance, he had someone who was for him. He had someone he could lean on when discouragement set in – he had a true friend.

Discouragements are as common to life as valleys are to mountains. God knows how difficult it is when we experience discouragement alone, so He brings people into our lives to help us in our darkest times. Friendship is a wonderful token of God’s love and grace in times of difficulty, but God never intended for it to be a cure-all for our emotional unrest. Only God Himself can provide the assurance of a Friend who sticketh closer than a brother. He will never forsake us.

Perhaps you desire true friends but are reluctant to confide in people because you have been hurt in the past by those you thought were friends. When you are discouraged and fair-weather friends have forsaken you, you have a Friend in Jesus. His love for you is not based upon your popularity, performance, skin shade, culture, success, social status, or emotional state. He loves you regardless. He is there for you regardless. He is more than a fan. He is a true Friend.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.