Faithful Are The Wounds Of A Friend

Faithful are the wounds of a friend , given in the fear of the Lord; knowing that the pain is intended to mend the defilement of sin that’s gone before. Only as a friend dare we give stripes that, by His grace, let us live. Can you see the scars in the hand that holds the rod? Can you understand that the wounds are hid in God? Every tear that’s shed is accepted through His blood. Faithful are the wounds of a friend. Jesus, You are my friend.

 

 

Faithful are the wounds of a friend: Very often the close friends in our lives are more concerned with wounding us and affecting that closeness than telling us we have spinach in our teeth. And yet, only an egotistical person full of pride would resent being informed about a personal flaw he was not seeing in himself.

A true friend will risk the relationship for the betterment of my image and reputation with others. Even though I may, for the moment, feel wounded, after a time of reflection I’ll have to admit that the wounding served a good purpose in my life.

This is the principle upon which faithfulness rests. Faithfulness sees the calm after the storm, sometimes even before the storm arrives. A faithful friend has the confidence to implement the necessary course corrections to help me avoid the consequences of my overlooking or being in denial about the personal flaws I am failing to see and address.

Given in the fear of the Lord: The fear of the Lord has to do with the personal acknowledgement that, even though I may see a pressing need for change in the character, personality, and behavior of someone else, I am nonetheless subject to having my own blind spots. Simply admitting the need for changes in my life which I may not see or understand enables a depth of character and empathy that allows me to temper any critique with compassion and patience. Without these qualities, I will never earn or deserve the right to speak into the life of someone else.

Knowing that the pain is intended to mend: Restoration is always the right motivation when addressing a flaw or failing in the life of someone I sincerely care about. We’ve all felt the sting of rejection that comes as a result of being ‘dealt with’ by someone who is merely tolerating, but not loving us. Yet, even in those circumstances, God may be using the correction to touch something deeper within us that the individual who is addressing us doesn’t even see.

The defilement of sin that’s gone before: Everyone who has lived past the age of accountability has a history of missteps, wrong choices, and negative relationships which have left scars of anger, bitterness, resentment and frustration. The purpose of those faithful wounds is to drain the infection of such things. The heart is very resilient and can quickly recover and even be stronger if the infection of negativity is lanced-dealt with in a timely manner. It’s painful to have secret griefs and resentments exposed to the light of day, but the end result is always relief and renewed hope. The danger in not having these flaws confronted is that, over time, they become part of one’s identity, overshadowing and corrupting whatever else is a positive character trait.

Only as a friend dare we give stripes that, by His grace, let us live: Jesus is spoken of as a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. His life serves as the perfect example of someone who was willing to risk it all to expose and cleanse the poison which dwells in every man’s soul. It’s written of him that He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities. (Isa 53). Often the faithful friend finds himself battered and bruised by the very individuals to whom he is reaching out in love, to help them get past their emotional roadblocks. Words of correction can have the effect of a whip’s lash, causing an outburst of pent up anger, even rage, toward the individual who seems to be intruding into the inner sanctum of one’s latent hostility. Yet, in the context of Divine purpose and intent, the faithful friend sees himself as simply the agent of an Eternal Will which is focused on seeing the restoration of all that it loves and cherishes. In that context, the reward always outweighs the cost or sacrifice.

Can you see the scars in the hand that holds the rod: When I’ve finally come to the end of my self serving denial and insulation, it’s then and only then that I can truly appreciate the reality of all men’s inherited imperfection and weakness. My faithful friend hasn’t sought to wound me because he has no flaws, but because he does.

Can you understand that the wounds are hid in God: There’s a precious verse in the book of Isaiah which says: “In all (our) affliction He was afflicted.” (Isa 63:9). This truth is reiterated in the book of Hebrews when it says: “For this reason He had to be made like (us), in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest, in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people.” (Heb 2:17). There is an identification and empathy that comes with shared weaknesses. The faithful wounds of a friend always reflect this reality, whether consciously or unconsciously, because every life is connected one way or another to what God has given us in His Son.

Every tear that’s shed is accepted through His blood: For those who don’t acknowledge God, either through ignorance or unbelief, the reality of human suffering is an eternal enigma and conundrum. It’s only in the light of His eternal purpose that it begins to make any sense. The older I get, the more I understand that the entirety of a human life is merely one’s childhood, and that true maturity and completeness is only attained when one passes through physical death into eternity. It’s only then that we’ll see and know as we are seen and known.

The book of James declares that the many and various testings and trials we go through, the faithful wounds of a Friend, are purposeful and not random. Our Faithful Friend’s intent is the perfecting of our faith and character. In this light we can testify that, truly, faithful are the wounds of a friend.

David Ridgeway

Advertisements
Standard

SCATTERED

Scattered on the ground are the leaves of brown

Wind ravished leaves are blowing

O’er the windswept plain flowers bloom in vain

Wind’s kiss of death bestowing

What is life but a wisp of smoke, here for but a season

Toil is gain but all for naught

Can’t you see the reason

Christ will come again, all that’s sin will end

Do you know where you are going

All on earth will cease

Life and love and peace

Will be with the All-Knowing

Can you see, hanging on the tree, night before the day break

Love’s own everlasting song calls and makes the earth quake

Heed the call you hear

All in life that’s dear comes down from Heaven above us

Can you see the Man holding out His hands, and not realize that He loves us

Standard

UTTERLY SPEECHLESS

Caught in a whirlwind of music and ecstasy                                                          Suddenly knowing You’d come to me.    O, I am utterly speechless and   overwhelmed                                                That I can call Your love my own.                    Utterly speechless at what You have given me.                                                       Sharing Your glory, and knowing that I am free.                                                          I try to say but my words fly away when You look at me

  • Jesus, You caught me and held me in Your arms.                                                                Kept me from falling and safe from harm.                                                             I tried to run so long and be on my own But You loved me to Your home.                        It’s great to know that I’ll always be close  to  You.                                                          Having You lead me in all that I say and do.                                                             Utterly speechless in knowing that I can be  part of  You.                                                  Jesus, I give You my heart and my soul  And I pray that You’ll always be in control                                                            Of my hopes and my dreams and my heart’s desires.                                                    O, won’t You fill me with Your fire.            All that I have, Lord, I place in Your hands to be                                                              Always for You, to fulfill Your commands for me.                                                            What can I say to the One who has given His all for me.                                                       I try to say but my words fly away when You look at me
Standard

HE’S ALIVE

I found myself in a world of misery          The darkness haunted me                        How I wished I could be free.                    And happiness was just an empty game we played to fool ourselves.           But our hearts were still the same

I didn’t know that love was waiting by the door, and asking to come in to free me from my sin.

  • I heard His Name, and the darkness turned to light.               .                               His glory filled my sight, and He changed me

Then all at once all the guilt and weight of sin was lifted off of me, and I knew His peace within.                                          Then Jesus Christ became my only love.  He lifted me above all the care I couldn’t move.                                              Glory to GOD, He reached His helping hand to me. His mercy set me free through His death on Calvary.                   It was the blood that came flowing from His side that poured a crimson tide, and washed me white as snow

  • He’s alive, a He is living in my heart.        He’s alive, and He has changed me so.  He’s alive, and He is pouring life in me.  O,how I want the world to know, He’s alive  Continue reading
Standard

NO REASON

Though she must sleep awhile before the trumpet wakes her,my mother sleeps in the depths of peace

Because her spirit stands in the holy Presence of the One whose reign will never cease

King and Conqueror, Prince and Savior, the desire of all nations has come

And I, like so many who have gone before me, have placed my total confidence in Christ, the Son

He who offered up his life to cleanse my sin, whose precious blood acquits me, makes eternal life begin  Continue reading

Standard

WE’RE NEVER LOOKING BACK

You died the death of deaths on the cross

The death that ends our misery, our shame, our loss

You gave yourself to ridicule and scorn

And from your Father’s presence you were torn

Because of what you sacrificed for us

Enabling us to shed our fear and place our trust

In things we cannot see, yet know are true

We give our hearts, our lives, our all to you

Powers and principalities at your Name bow down

Wounded hearts shout joyfully, we’ve heard the joyful sound

And we are never looking back to what has come and gone

We are never looking back, you’ve given us a brand new song

Of victory and peace, our spirits’ sweet release into your arms

In you there is no lack

We’re never looking back

Standard

OUT OF DARKNESS

We are the tongue in the mouth of power, giving voice to the living word of the Lord

Pulling down strongholds that for so long have towered over souls in confusion, subdued and controlled

By the whims,the designs,and the schemes of the one who, from time immemorial, has resisted the Son

Who is manifest now in the fulness of time to destroy Satan’s works and give sight to the blind

That the light of the glorious gospel of peace may prevail in the earth, and God’s kingdom increase

  • Until all that is darkness is swallowed in light, and there isn’t a hint of a memory of night

Let the voice of the Lord, like a trumpet, come forth, declaring His glory, His honor, His worth

To a people prepared who are eager to find that the Savior is worth all that they’ve left behind

And that nothing compares to the prize of His grace freely given to us, that no sin can erase

For the Kingdom, the power, the glory belong  to the Lamb who is worthy, the Lamb who is strong

The Lamb who has brought us from darkness to light, leading us out of bondage, restoring our sight

Standard