Friends Are Friends Forever


By Michael W. Smith

Packing up the dreams God planted
In the fertile soil of you
I can’t believe the hopes He’s granted
Means a chapter of your life is through

But we’ll keep you close as always
It won’t even seem you’ve gone
‘Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long
To live as friends

And with the faith and love God’s given
Springing from the hope we know
We will pray the joy you live in
Is the strength that now you show

We’ll keep you close as always
It won’t even seem you’ve gone
‘Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long
To live as friends

And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long
To live as friends

To live as friends

Though it’s hard to let you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long
To live as friends

No a lifetime’s not too long
To live as friends

Whenever I hear someone talking about “friends,” my mind immediately goes to Michael W. Smith‘s hit song from the ‘80s. It gets in my head and I can’t get it out… especially the chorus. I first heard of this song back in high school, and we sung it during our Scripture Union gatherings. Incidentally, one of my favorite bible verses talks about friends: Proverbs 17:17:A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Times change. There was a time when a cell phone was unheard of. Today anyone who has a cell phone can send a text message to someone else with a cell phone. Did you know that the first text message was sent from a computer in December 1992, saying “Merry Christmas”.In 1995 the average cell phone owner used less than ½ one text messages a month.Today there are over 2,000,000 text messages sent every second somewhere on the globe.That is over 1.2 trillion of these messages sent every year and they increasing every month. There is actually a lingo of text messaging that you should be familiar with. Here are just a few of the terms.

  • 🙂 = Happy
  • 😦 = Sad
  • :-0 = Surprised
  • ?4U -“I have a question for you”
  • CYT -“See you tomorrow”
  • LOL -“Lots of Laughter”
  • PCM -“Please call me”
  • FYEO -“For your eyes only”
  • WUD -“What are you doing?”
  • BFF -“Best Friends Forever”

It is the last one BFF that seems to best describe our focus song today. A true friend never fails, no matter what. A true brother is always ready to help in time of need or trouble. The wise man described excellent friends and brothers in a very few words. You must ask if you are such a friend, and you must ask if you have such friends.

Two are better than one! The solitary life is lonely and unhelpful! Good friends help in four ways – they share in successes, they help when you fall, they provide encouragement and synergy, and they help oppose enemies (Eccl 4:9-12). Successful men have great friends.

Such friends are not found easily; they are a blessing from God. And such friends must be carefully preserved by a very conscious choice (Pr 27:10) and sincere friendliness (Pr 18:24; John 15:15). If you deeply offend a friend, it may be very hard to recover them (Pr 18:19). Look for friends among zealous saints (Ps 101:4-8; 119:63; Titus 1:8). They are won by a pure heart and gracious speech (Pr 22:11; I Sam 18:1). Holy living brings holy friends.

Jonathan and David were friends. Jonathan loved David as his own soul (I Sam 18:1-4). David described Jonathan’s love as greater than that of women (II Sam 1:26). There was no competition or envy between them. They strengthened each other in the Lord (I Sam 23:16). Back to back with swords, no enemy could touch them! Face to face, no lovers could match their affection! Their covenant of friendship, in life and death, was glorious!

Men say, “Blood is thicker than water,” meaning family ties are stronger than friendship or marriage. But the sons of God know better. They say, “Blood is thicker than blood,” meaning the bond in Christ, by His blood, is stronger than the bond of family. The best marriages are when a man marries his sister – his friend in the Lord (I Cor 9:5)! No man has forsaken family for Christ that did not find a better, larger family (Luke 18:28-30).

Saints make the best friends, for God forms their souls identically. They fear the LORD, believe the truth, adore Jesus Christ, follow Bible wisdom in life, have true love in their hearts, and know they will spend eternity together. They exhort and rebuke each other to perfection, which is sweeter than kisses (Pr 27:5-6,9). The world cannot know such unity!

It did not matter Paul was on trial for his life, his friend Luke was there (II Tim 4:11). It did not matter Jesus was crucified by rabid Jews; John was there (John 19:26-27). Fair weather friends, as they are called, are never there when you need them (Pr 14:20; 19:4).

Jesus of Nazareth, reigning as King on David’s throne, is the greatest Friend. He gave His life for you; He lives to make intercession for you; He will never leave or forsake you.

About Micheal W Smith:
Michael Whitaker Smith was born October 7, 1957, to Paul and Barbara Smith, in Kenova, West Virginia. His father was an oil refinery worker and his mother was a caterer and church secretary. He has one sister, Kim.

As a child, Michael was active in church activities, baseball, and playing piano, writing his first song when he was five. When he was ten years old, he made the decision to give his life to Christ. An early dream was to play professional baseball. During his teens he was surrounded with a solid support group of fellow believers who frequently gathered to play music. After graduating from high school, the group split up.

Michael attended a semester of college at Marshall University in West Virginia but dropped out and moved to Nashville with the hopes of a career in music. He played with local bands. Unable to get a record deal, Smith experimented with drugs and alcohol for a short time before reclaiming his direction and renewing his faith in October, 1979.

He started performing with a Christian group called Higher Ground, playing keyboards. While he was playing with Higher Ground, he signed his first songwriting contract with Paragon/Benson Publishing Company. The sixteen-hour days writing music was a labor of love for Michael.

It was during this time in 1981 that Smith met his wife, Debbie. Quoting from his book, It’s Time to be Bold:

“…one afternoon while I was working in my office, Deborah Kay Davis walked by. I thought she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. When she passed by, it was all over for me. I was blown away. Totally head over heels in love. I frantically picked up the phone and called my mother in West Virginia. “Mom, I can’t believe it. You’re not going to believe this, Mom. I just saw the girl I’m going to marry.” “What’s her name?” “I don’t know, Mom. I haven’t met her yet. But I gotta go. I’ll find out and call you back.” My poor mother! She must have thought I’d lost my mind. But I’d never been so clearheaded in my life. I left my office and went searching for this girl in the warehouse. Sherlock Holmes couldn’t have done a better job of tracking her down, and eventually I found myself standing outside the ladies’ restroom, waiting for her to emerge. She walked out. I introduced myself. We were engaged three and a half weeks later – and married four months after that!”

Michael’s next break came soon after he was asked to play keyboard in a young Amy Grant’s band. He began touring and Amy’s managers, Mike Blanton and Dan Harrell, saw a wealth of potential in Michael (and another young new talent, Kathy Troccoli), but they were unsuccessful in finding a record company to sign them. One door closing is an opportunity for another door opening, and as a result, they started Reunion Records. In 1983, Michael released his first album, The Michael W. Smith Project. Debbie, Michael’s wife, wrote the lyrics for Project. This debut album was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Gospel Performance. Michael’s trademark song, Friends, debuted on this first album.

Michael was elevated to Amy’s opening act and he continued to tour with her.

In 1984, Michael released his second album, Michael W. Smith 2. The next several years saw Michael releasing several more albums and two concert videos, Michael W. Smith Live In Concert and The Big Picture Tour. The style of music was being directed more toward a younger audience with more of a rock-oriented style. Some of the songs were secular in nature and enabled Smith to break into the mainstream music arena.

In 1991, Reunion Records allowed Geffen Records to distribute his albums, hoping to make in-roads into the mainstream pop audiences. There was some controversy from a segment of fans that felt he was selling out to the secular market. But Smith’s motivation was to get his message out to a wider audience and to help young people who he saw struggling with many important issues.

Throughout the 1990’s more albums were released in addition to another concert video, Change Your World Live, music video singles, and the release of several books.

In 1992, Michael received an honorary Doctorate of Music degree from Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi, West Virginia.

In 1994, Michael founded Rocketown, a club for teenagers, in a warehouse in Brentwood, Tennessee. The club provided a place for teens to gather in a safe, positive, and encouraging environment. The club closed after a few years. The new Rocketown club, a renovated 38,000 square foot warehouse in downtown Nashville, opened in early 2003.

In 1996, Michael, along with Reunion Records executive Don Donahue, founded Rocketown Records. Their initial artist was Chris Rice and over the years their artist roster has included Ginny Owens, Shaun Groves, Wayne Kirkpatrick, and Watermark.

In 1999, Michael was invited to sing at the Columbine Memorial service in Littleton, Colorado. The Columbine High School shootings inspired his album This Is Your Time which is based on the story of Cassie Bernall. In Michael’s own words:

“I went to Littleton (Colorado) to sing Friends at the Columbine Memorial Service and it was a day that impacted me greatly. It was so over-whelming emotionally, that I just had to find a way to cope with it and to digest it all, so I found myself at the keyboard writing music. Meeting Cassie Bernall’s family inspired me the most. Cassie claimed she believed in God and lost her life for it. I have written a song called This Is Your Time which is a challenge for us all to recognize through Cassie’s life, that now is our time to stand up and live life unabashedly for God.”

Also in 1999, Michael and wife Debbie were instrumental in starting New River Fellowship Church. Michael’s Pastor and mentor, Don Finto, helped to provide the new church’s leadership.

In 2000, Michael releases the Freedom album. This instrumental album, recorded in Ireland with the Irish Film Orchestra, included classic piano arrangements.

In 2001, Michael rode the worship wave and created his Worship album, a highly successful and well-received work. A sequel album, Worship Again, and Worship-The Video were released the following year.

In 2002, Michael produced the soundtrack for the motion picture Joshua. Michael’s updated website, Friends Online, was also launched in the fall of 2002.

In 2003, Michael expands his realm of accomplishments by narrating The Gospels Come to Life, which is an audio book featuring the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Also included during the reading is a Smith-inspired musical background scored by Michael Omartian.

Throughout his 20+ year career, Michael has had the opportunity to sing for Presidents, national leaders, community gatherings, memorials, the Billy Graham Crusades, and on national and international television…and his work is not yet done.

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