True friends are the ones who love you no matter what. They stick by you regardless of the circumstances of your life or whether you can do anything for them in return. Proverbs 17:17 says, A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. There is no greater friend than a loyal one. When adversity strikes, that is when a true friend shows up. What kind of friend are you?
There is, of course, an eternal upside to following Jesus. But there is also a cost. Whether it is the increasing level of criticism and persecution we face in this country or the actual threat of death others face in theirs, we must understand there are potential dangers in following Jesus. In John 11:16 we read, Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” Thomas was merely saying what the rest of the disciples were already thinking. They knew the dangers of returning to Jerusalem, but out of obedience and loyalty to Jesus, they went anyway. Regardless of the dangers we may face, and because we know of the eternal impact, we must always be prepared to follow Jesus no matter the actual or potential consequences.