Oh the glorious truth of it! Jesus is our faithful and true Friend. He is our "Brother born for adversity" (Proverbs 17:17). He is the great King and God and Creator, and yet He is desirous to be our Friend! Earthly friends will fail us, and do. We fail our own friends. Because of unfaithfulness on the part of the children of men, true friends are hard to come by and will all eventually fail. But Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, the One who purchased our pardon at Calvary, will be your Friend if you will trust in Him.
So often we forget about all that we have in Christ and that we are blessed beyond measure in Him in whom we are complete. We who have received the Lord Jesus into our hearts are the children of the One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, who declares: "the world is Mine." He owns the universe and has promised to give us all things, and yet we usually live in poverty—spiritual poverty.
The biblical command in Philippians 4 is that we should let our moderation be known unto all men, showing that the Lord is at hand. He is near and ready to deliver, but He awaits our call for that deliverance. God reigns in heaven looking down upon us, desirous every moment to show Himself strong on our behalf, but we, in our shortsightedness and faithlessness and carefulness, will not come unto Him that we might have life and deliverance from all of our afflictions and troubles: "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lorddelivereth Him out of them all" (Psalm 34:19).
So many troubles encompass the saints, and we get bogged down and discouraged under their weight, and it shows up in our countenances, conversations, and lifestyles. It was never the will of God for His people to be discouraged, downcast, fretful, murmuring and complaining. Yet He has seen fit for us to suffer the afflictions that come with this life. This is part of His school, and the lesson that He desires to teach us is to "look up": "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).
Remember David. His own men considered stoning him because their enemies had stolen their wives, children, and goods while they were away with the Philistines to fight against Israel. What was David's response to the greatly troubling circumstances? "David encouraged himself in the Lord." This is all it says, but oh, the depths of the meaning for us!
The difference between failure and defeat for the saint is in which way he turns. "Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me" (Psalm 50:15). This is the will of God for us! He allows all of these trying situations to test us, to prove us, and to show us our insufficiency apart from Him who is all sufficient, in whom all of our needs are met (Psalm 23:1; Philippians 4:19). If we do not come to Him for His help, we don't gain the victory that God has already made available for us in Christ. Then He doesn't get the glory that He otherwise would.
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). God is at all times and in all circumstances instructing the saints to be fully dependent upon and to utterly cast themselves upon Him for everything. Paul concluded that the thorn in his flesh, whatever that may have been (we do know that it was an infirmity of some sort, and a great trial we may be sure), was a gift from God to reveal Paul's own weakness and turn Him to the Lord, "the Strength of Israel," to be his strength. Paul declares after beseeching the Lord three times to remove his "thorn in the flesh":
We are ever exhorted in Scripture to come to the Lord Jesus in every trying circumstance, trusting fully in Him (Isaiah 26:3-4). Peter encouraged: "Casting all your care upon Him, for he careth for you" (1 Peter 5:7). Likewise, Paul exhorted: "Be careful for nothing; but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).
Let us trust His promises!