A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Prov. 17:17
Life, perhaps especially the Christian life – can be difficult. Sometimes things don’t go like you had hoped or thought they would. Relationships become fractured. Health fails. Bank accounts dwindle. In times like these one of the most precious gifts is that of encouragement from a friend. A card, phone call, text, or email can help bring perspective, and new wind in our sails.
I think one of the things we see modeled in the book of Acts is a tight bond of people often borne out of adversity. They had things in common. They ate together, worshipped together and persevered together. We weren’t meant to live life on an island. The book of Hebrews (10:25) admonishes to keep meeting together. Why? We need the strength that comes from community.
I remember a time when I was experiencing significant frustration and disappointment. I had some long talks with God about what was happening and why things were turning out like they were. I’m sure you have been there. Disillusionment and unmet expectations mount and can take you to some low places. Yet perhaps like me, you experienced the refreshment that comes from friends who deeply care. And what a joy that is. I received words of encouragement, pictures, scriptures, and repeated phone calls that buoyed my soul and spirit. They were reminders that God is still out front, still on the throne, and is still “for” me. The same is true for you as well.
Who could use a blessing of encouragement from you today? Is there someone that would gain lift from the sound of your voice, an invitation to lunch, a text, email, photo or card from you? This is more than just being nice. It is a vital aspect of Kingdom living. That is the way the body of Christ is supposed to work. And when we function that way, as God’s people, it is a profound thing to witness and experience. The power of loving, transparent, and compassionate community is one of the greatest treasures this side of heaven.
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35
Live this week on purpose,