“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Prov 17:17)
“While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:8-9)
“For now we really live, when you stand firm in the Lord!” (1 Thess 3:8)
Proverbs 17 reveals two important truths: first, that if we follow Jesus there will be adversity, for if there was no adversity there would be no need for brothers “born for it.” Furthermore it reveals a true brother isn’t just someone to meet with, or to hold us accountable, or to instruct or pray with us. When a true brother sees another brother struggling with the trials and temptations inevitable while living in this world, something arises enflamed within him! He girds his sword on his thigh and comes charging in to the fray, his spirit crying out within him, “I was born for this—born for fulfilling the law of Christ by bearing my brother’s burden!” And as David did to Goliath he cries to the enemy, “I come against you in the name of the Lord Jesus whom you have mocked, on behalf of my brother whom you have afflicted. This day the Lord will deliver my brother from your hands, that he may know the battle is the Lord’s!”
As always, we need look only to our ever living example of all the Bible teaches to see this fleshed out. Was Jesus not born into this world for our adversity? Did He not see us “dead in our trespasses and sins,” and while yet sinners come running, sword drawn with passion and focus, to deliver us? Did He not “love us at all times” as He laid down His life for us? Did He not say, “Greater love hath no man than this: that he lay down his life for his neighbor” and then do it? Will He not come again with fire in His eyes and a sword emanating from His mouth, when again He finds us in great adversity at the hands of the evil trinity to save us? Oh yes, our brother Jesus was born for our adversity that we might in turn be born for the adversity of our brother. Jesus, like Paul, truly lived to see others stand firm. The disciple of Christ follows in His footsteps, and oft times those steps are found running to the adversity of their brothers.