Proverbs 17:17 (KJV)
17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

True friends have continuity and are constant in their nature to each other. True friendship is sincere and brings with it good intents and good principles. There are those who think they are good friends, but in truth they are self-seeking, only desiring to benefit themselves. There are that that Matthew Henry called �swallow friends� who fly to you in the good times and fly away in the bad times. The commentary of Matthew Henry also tells us �if the friendship be prudent, generous, and cordial, if I love my friend because he is wise, and virtuous, and good, as long as he continues so, though he fall into poverty and disgrace, still I shall love him.�

There was a time Proverbs 17:17 would confuse me. King Solomon in his proverbs would often contrast good and evil in a verse. So when I would read Proverbs 17:17 there were times I wondered was he trying to say a brother creates adversity or is a brother there to aid in times of adversity. Over time I realized the end of this proverb still refered to the friend and is more versed towards a friend being there for a friend in a time of need.

In most families a brother or sister will come to the aid of another sibling if one faces a time of distress. I have known brothers and sisters who have done really good deeds for each other. I know brothers and sisters who have watched over their younger siblings. I have even read where brothers or sisters have given another sibling a kidney so the other could survive. Family is often close and is there is a unique bond that holds them together to help one another. I will admit there are families with their issues, but under really difficult times even dysfunctional families will pull together for a common good.

Now considering the friend, a true friend who freely gives of themself when we are faced with times of adversity will be there as a brother or sister. They are willing to help just as a brother or sister would be willing to help. A true friend is as close as family - was born to be a friend and born for the time you face adversity and need help. They are there for you to provide comfort, support, kindness, compassion and love. Those are friends you want to hold onto to for they are as precious as family.

Remember we have another friend who is always there for us and that is Jesus. Jesus always loves us. Jesus always cares about us. Jesus always has compassion for us. The question we need to ask is �What kind of a friend are we to Jesus?�