“I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
One of the greatest discoveries of life is the discovery of true companions. Throughout the Scriptures, you find poor companions who led people to do wrong. Many people have been destroyed because they chose to associate with someone who led them down the wrong path. Having a true companion who leads and encourages you to do right is imperative to serving the LORD your entire life.
The word “companion” means, “to break bread with.” In other words, a companion is someone you keep company with, and to whom you choose to partake in their deeds. Finding a true companion is difficult, but the verse above reveals five keys to discovering true companions that I would like to share with you.
First, a true companion is only discovered in tribulation. Many declare their friendship with someone when times are good, but you find out your true friends when others forsake you and you are facing troublesome times. It is easy to be a friend with someone when they are not attacked, but a true friend is one who is not afraid to go through the battles and to face the opponent’s attacks with you. One good thing about battles and trials is the discovery of your true companions.
Second, a true companion doesn’t commiserate, but they encourage. John didn’t sit and complain about his problems, but he encouraged those who were also going through tribulation. A true companion won’t let you continue to complain when you face life’s trials, but they will encourage you and get you to see the bright side of life.
Third, a true companion points you to God’s Word. John didn’t point to himself in this time of trial, but He pointed us to the Word of God. The true companion knows that the answer to your problems will only be found in God’s Word. It is God’s Word that encourages the believer through hard times, and a true companion will be sure to take their friend to the Scriptures to find the help they need in their time of trouble.
Fourth, a true companion is patient with the weaknesses of others. It is encouraging to see that John was not only a “companion in tribulation,” be he was also a companion in “patience.” A true companion encourages you to be patient with the LORD in your time of need, and they will not give up on you when you tend to let the trial reveal your fleshliness. A true companion won’t condemn someone when their flesh is revealed; rather, a true companion is patient with the weaknesses of others and allows the LORD time to help that person to grow.
Fifth, a true companion encourages you to do right in the time of tribulation. It was on the LORD’s day that John was a companion in tribulation. My friend, your true companions won’t pull you away from doing right, but they encourage you to continue doing right.
Let me ask you; are you a true companion to others? It is good to discover your companions in your time of need, but it is better to be a companion in another’s time of need. Be the type of person who is a true companion to others in the greatest time of their need.