Fair Weather Friends

“The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.”

Amazing Grace by John Newton, Verse 4

Fair-weather friends are defined as people who are friendly to you when life is going well, when it is to their advantage, or when it profits them.  The title may come from a phrase that came about in the 1700s for sailors who could only sail when the weather was good.  John Newton sees Jesus as a “fair weather friend” but as a real friend who will stay by us when times are tough and when we are not so loyal to him.  Jesus was there with Newton in the midst of the horrible storm at sea that drove Newton to cry out for help.

         Newton saw Jesus as a “shield,” his “portion” as long as life endures.  He adds no qualifying clause.  He did not say “if” we obey then we are blessed.  “As long as life endures” means eternally.  That is a true friend!

         So how are we doing as friends?  Think of a few people who have been real friends to you.  What qualities do you appreciate in them?  Name their kindnesses and then thank God for them and pray for them painting a prayer picture of their craft sailing the seas of life.

Maybe you could rephrase this traditional Irish blessing that comes from an ancient Celtic prayer, “May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon the waves and the skies be clear for charting your course until we meet again.  May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”  May the risen Lord stand with you at the helm of your ship.

Romans 5:8, “But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.”

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