Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
The Bible describes a true friend as one who is constant and faithful. He does not merely love when it is popular, convenient, or easy. It says he loves at ALL times. (Perhaps even when their friend does not seem to love THEM back! That may be the truest test of friendship!) But the true friend will pass the test. He or she will love at ALL times.
The verse goes on to say, “and a brother is born for adversity.” This does NOT mean that God gave us brothers to fight with — despite what some siblings may have experienced! Rather, it means that a real “brother” in the best sense of the word — a true friend, for “brother” and “friend” in this verse are synonyms — is there for his friend especially in times of adversity. In other words, when adversity strikes, the real “brother”, the true friend, will unfailingly be faithful. The true friend is “born” to be there in one’s most difficult hour.
Some of us have experienced the privilege of having friends who loved us when it was not easy, or who ministered to us through difficult times. The question each of us should ask ourselves however, is: “Will I BE that kind of friend?” Will you love your friends at ALL times? Will you still be there for them in times of adversity? The Bible tells us that Jesus is that kind of friend for us — faithful when we are not; present in our most desperate times of need. And if we would be true friends for others, we must determine to be ourselves that very kind of faithful friend.