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21 Days of Prayer and Fasting | DAY 10





 

DAY 10

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.” Ephesian 4:32



PRESS PAUSE: Before you do anything else, take a moment to reflect on and celebrate all the Lord did in you, for you, and spoke to you yesterday.  


READ: 1 Samuel 23

I have a riddle. What costs nothing but is worth everything, weighs nothing, but can last a lifetime, that one person can’t own, but two or more can share? Answer: Friendship.

We need people. Humans were never meant to be solitary creatures. The Lord designed us to be interactive and to desire connection. Studies have shown that strong social connection can increase our longevity, strengthen our immune system, and even help us recover from disease quicker. People who feel more connected to others have lower levels of anxiety and depression, and they also have higher self-esteem, and greater empathy for others. However, that connection doesn’t come without trials. 

Let’s be honest. People can be difficult. Yes, even you and me. Relationships can be just as messy as they can be beautiful. They can be harmful just as much as they can be uplifting. Throughout scripture we see examples of unbreakable bonds of friendship. 

First, David and Jonathan. Jonathan, by right, was the next in line as the king of Israel. Yet, he was mature enough to see that God had given this right to David. Even as his father sought to destroy David, Jonathan remained loyal to his friend. He sacrificed his armor to David in battle, defended him to his father, the king, and even worked to ensure David’s freedom from Saul’s relentlessness. The last time the two saw each other, Jonathan was still encouraging David. 1 Samuel 23:17 says, 

“Don’t be afraid,” Jonathan reassured him. “My father will never find you! You are going to be the king of Israel, and I will be next to you.” 

These two friends remained loyal to one another for as long as Johnathan was alive. Despite circumstances that should have made them enemies, these two men chose the path of friendship instead and saw each other through many hardships.

Next, look at Elijah and Elisha. This is a relationship between a mentor and a mentee. After the dramatic events of Elijah’s defeat of the prophets of Baal, he was forced to flee from Queen Jezebel (1 Kings 19). While he is running from his enemies, he begs God to take his life. In 1 Kings 19:4, Elijah says to God, “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.” He is alone in the wilderness with no one to share his burden. However, God doesn’t leave him like that. 

God understood his needs and led him to Elisha, instructing him to anoint Elisha to take his place as prophet. The two go on to have several adventures together. 2 Kings 2 contains an emotional goodbye between these two men as Elijah is taken up to heaven as they are spending their last moments together “walking and talking.”

Lastly, take a look at the beautiful story of reconciliation between Jesus and Peter. Peter was a part of the inner circle of disciples from the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry. He loved Jesus, there is no doubt of that. And when Jesus predicted in Matthew 26:34 that Peter would deny him three times, Peter vehemently vowed that he wouldn’t. Then, in the human frailty that plagues all of us, Peter did deny Jesus. Not once, or even twice, but three times. When the moment came, and Jesus had been arrested, Peter had been separated from the other disciples, guards were all around the area searching for him and the others, fear and weakness took over and Peter uttered words he would have never imagined - “I don’t know the man.” (Matthew 26:74).

Later, we see a picture of Jesus giving Peter the opportunity to be restored. Jesus asks him three times “Do you love Me?” Peter answers affirmatively all three times, giving him the chance to oppose the three times he denied Jesus. Peter and Jesus went through a lot together and even when Peter was willing to turn his back on Jesus during a time of doubt, Jesus willingly forgave him, restored their friendship, and even selected Peter as the rock He would build his church on. (Matthew 16:18)

We can see several different types of relationships in these examples. Two peers, a mentor and mentee, a leader/friend and disciple/friend. All three of these relationships had plenty of obstacles in the way. I think that’s something we can see in some of our own relationships.  There can be circumstances that draw you apart, like David and Johnathan. Or maybe the season of relationship is simply coming to an end and you have to let go, like Elisha had to let go of Elijah. Perhaps, someone has hurt you deeply and left you feeling abandoned like Peter did, or worse, maybe you’ve done that to someone else.

None of us are perfect, and neither is anyone that we are in relationship with. But God is perfect. He loves us perfectly and He also loves them perfectly. He instructs us in Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Then, Hebrews 12:14 says, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” God not only wants us to be reconciled to Him, He wants us to be reconciled to each other. 

I want to encourage you today to pray for the relationships that may be difficult for you right now.  Ask the Lord to reveal what you can do to facilitate reconciliation. Accept your part in the situation. James 5:16 says “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

If you have been wronged by someone, seek God on how to forgive that person. If you have wronged someone, seek Him on how to make it right. Remember, we need each other. And what better example of salt and light to the rest of the world than being able to work out our issues among ourselves and move forward in love? We are the church, the body of Christ. Let’s not war amongst ourselves. Let us love each other well, as our Father does with us.












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