Today’s Scripture: Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. Proverbs¬†27:17

Like a defeated angler, I cast my lure into the murky waters. “We’re not going to catch a single fish today,” I told my fishing partner, Mark.

“Brother Scudder, you can’t say that! We’re going to get fish!” Mark endured my put-down and remained positive.

Discouraged, I tried to convince him, “Mark, it’s cold, and the fish aren’t biting. Where are they?”

Mark replied with confidence, “We’ll find them.”

“It’s not going to happen.”

“Brother, we’re going to get fish.”

We tried another fishing spot. I lowered the anchor, and suddenly Mark started bringing in one fish after another!

Sometimes we get discouraged because the “fish” aren’t biting. It’s easy to assume a negative attitude when things don’t work as planned. We need “Marks”-friends whose positive outlook will lift our spirits.

A true friend seeks your best interest. He always listens and offers encouragement to uplift your heart. Remember, there’s no friend greater than Jesus.

You may be facing a job deadline. Perhaps a forthcoming mortgage payment has you worried. Maybe outstanding medical bills tempt you to conclude, “It won’t happen!”

Think about the hardest task on your agenda today. Tell a friend what you’re dealing with and ask them to pray with you about it. Most importantly, tell Jesus. Friends encourage, but only Christ provides strength.

The next time “fishing” gets you down, remember: “Together, we’re going to get fish!”

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder