That’s What Friends Are For

“May the Lord show him special kindness on the day of Christ’s return. And you know very well how helpful he was in Ephesus.”—2 Timothy 1:18 (NLT)
Have you ever had a friend you just know you can depend on? The kind of friend who says, “You’ve got troubles, and I’ve got ’em too. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you. We stick together and can see it through, ‘cause you’ve got a friend in me.” 
The apostle Paul had a few people in his life like that. But today, we’re going to talk about one particularly friend: Onesiphorus. Based on the description Paul provides of Onesiphorus, this man must have truly been an amazing person. 
There are several things we can learn about Christian friendship from Onesiphorus. First, Paul tells us that “he often refreshed me” (2 Timothy 1:16 NIV). During the darkest times, Paul found himself revived, comforted, and “refreshed” when this great friend came his way. 
Second, we find out that he stuck by Paul during his imprisonment. “He was never ashamed of me because I was in chains” (2 Timothy 1:16 NLT). As we read the epistles, we surmise that there were some that distanced themselves from the apostle during this time because they didn’t want to be associated with his “chains.” But not Onesiphorus; he didn’t abandon his friend or give up on him. He knew Paul was suffering for Christ and honored him well in that. 
The harsh truth is that living your calling and opposition go hand-in-hand. Often, those who are serving the Lord are afflicted with chains of some sort. Brothers and sisters, let us never be ashamed of them, let us boldly help them.
Third, and perhaps most telling, “When he came to Rome, he searched everywhere until he found me” (2 Timothy 1:17 NLT). 
You know what I see here? I see a man who was in tune with the Holy Spirit. I see a great friend and devoted disciple who was always ready and willing to serve his friends and carry out the Lord’s will. He felt the call and responded, and offered timely ministry for Paul during a difficult time, much like Epaphroditus did during Paul’s imprisonment in Caesarea (Philippians 2:25), and then when Paul sent him back to the Philippians who were distressed and concerned. 
So, what kind of friend are you? Are you following Onesiphorus’ example? Are you there for the people in your life? Or are you solely concerned with your own life?  

DIG: Read Philippians 2:25–30.

DISCOVER: Who would you consider your best friends? Why? What kind of friend are you to them?
DISPLAY: Connect with your closest friends and share with them just how much you appreciate them and all the times they’ve been there for you. Consider bringing up specific moments when they simply did or said exactly the right thing to comfort or help you.

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.