The Berean Expositor
Volume 52 - Page 50 of 207
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example in legal, financial and housing matters, and (3) providing social activities,
meetings and outings, establishing friendship groups, etc., etc.
We may not be able to compete with Social Workers in providing for the needs of the
bereaved, but in our own way, and according to our circumstances, we may be able to
show our sympathy in a practical manner. We may send a letter or sympathy card, or
speak on the telephone to show our love and concern. When the writer's wife died, many
friends sent cards or short letters which were deeply appreciated.
An important way of helping is to pray for the bereaved, and to mention in a letter or
on a card that you are remembering your friend in your prayers. The writer is sure that
many friends were supporting him in their prayers, and it was a great help. In our case
we stated that no flowers were desired, but gifts to a certain charity could be made if
desired. But it so happened that flowers came after the funeral from a few sources, which
were displayed around the house and were a means of consolation.
JOB. You know the story of Job? Why not read Job chapter 1: again and remind
yourself of his great trials. Despite his great losses, he was able to say:
"The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord"
(Job 1: 21).
"Brothers as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who
spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have
persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally
brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy" (James 5: 10, 11, N.I.V.).
pp. 229 - 231
"A friend loveth at all times" (Prov. 17: 17).
At Christmas time, it is the custom to send greetings cards to friends, and those of us
who are systematic have a list, or a record on cards (in alphabetical order), which at first
sight might indicate the number of friends we have. Indeed, this custom has extended to
the business world and it is not uncommon for a businessman to have to sign 800
Christmas cards--a time consuming occupation! But if our list is only say 70 people,
would it be true to say that they are friends or should we say they are acquaintances? We
may have many acquaintances, but how many true friends? An acquaintance is someone
who is known, but with whom there is not a close relationship. A friend is one with
whom we are more intimate, one for whom we have affection, a high regard or we might
say, one who loves us and whom we love.
An example of such a relationship is given in the account of the friendship between
David and Jonathan: