Week of Monday, August 28 – Sunday, September 3
Born for Adversity– Man as Battle Buddy

But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men are Jews, and they are disturbing our city. They advocate customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept or practice.” The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. - Acts 16:19-24 ESV

Most of the men closest to me have been through battles with me. Some of those battles were downrange with actual bullets flying—battles where good men put their lives on the line for their brothers and country. Other battles were of a spiritual nature but no less intense. Deep and lasting relationships with men I consider “brothers” were forged in the heat of battle, regardless of the nature of the fight. That’s why Proverbs 17:17 speaks to me: “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” I have lived that truth with other Battle Buddies.
Paul and Silas come to mind when I think about brothers “born for adversity.” They were on a mission from God, but that mission led them straight into a battle. When Paul and Silas encountered a demon-possessed girl who made money for her masters, they cast out the demon with the power of God, and she was delivered and converted. As a result, her “crystal ball” was crushed, drying up the income of her handlers. However, that act of mercy actually set in motion the beating and imprisonment of these two Battle Buddies.
It is hard to imagine what it would be like to have been in Paul and Silas’ sandals: beaten within an inch of your life, your body a bruised and bloody mess, and in so much pain you wish you could pass out to get some relief. Then to have the jailer drag you down into the dungeon and put your hands and neck in chains and feet in stocks. And you didn’t do anything to deserve it. All that for delivering a young woman.
Paul and Silas were in a world of hurt in that dungeon, but they were together. Shared suffering is the fast track to bonding two men as brothers for life.
Notice later how the Lord turned the tables on Satan’s plan and used it to further the gospel. Through the faith of these Battle Buddies, who were broken and bruised yet praying and praising God at the midnight hour, a jailer and his family were saved, and a church was born! When you think about it, if Paul and Silas hadn’t experienced suffering together and professed their faith together, they wouldn’t have experienced such a tremendous victory together. And as my Battle Buddy Stu Weber says, “Life is better together.” So, find that brother who was “born for adversity” and be that brother!
- Do you have a Battle Buddy? If not, think about the men who have been a brother to you in adversity, and pray about asking one of those men to become your Battle Buddy.
- In what ways do you and your Battle Buddy stay in contact, spend time together, and add value to each other’s walk with the Lord? Do you have a plan?
- Pray and ask God to help you identify and connect with a Battle Buddy and become that brother “born for adversity.”