Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.
-- Proverbs 27:9
According to BoxOfficeMojo.com, Hollywood has released more than 100 motion pictures since 1978 involving comic book superheroes. The worldwide popularity of these amazing characters--and their easy translation into ticket sales--helps to explain their abundance. In fact, there are about 20 more superhero-genre movies scheduled for release from now through 2019! Just how popular are these films? Box Office Mojo says that combined ticket sales have raked in about $13.5 billion over the last 38 years, with much more to come in the next few months through titles like Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War.
In the movies, a superhero always seems to be around when disaster strikes or a villain is on the loose. But in the real world, The Fantastic Four and Iron Man can't do much about the hardships of life. Terminal illnesses strike, relationships fail and that which was solid turns to dust in our hands. What we desperately need is something--or someone--who's utterly dependable, unwavering and trustworthy.
As Christ-followers, it's good to know that we worship a God who is that and much more. "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you," Moses reassured the ancient Israelites. "Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." It's a message that's as true for us today as it was for them centuries ago.
God also puts trustworthy friends in our life to help us make it through our darkest days. Always there when we need them, they're the ones who are willing to tell us the truth if it's for our own good--and even if it stings a bit at the time. Maybe you have one or two like that, or perhaps many. Either way, friendship isn't about a specific number that we can count: it's about the people we can count on.
With this in mind, who's counting on you to be their superhero to help save the day? With God's help, let's aim to be the type of companion who loves a pure heart and speaks with grace. Proverbs 22:11 tells us that such a person will have the king for a friend.