“Lessons from Pain…COMMUNITY.”
We received a phone call on the New Life Live radio show from a person who was having severe struggles with life, marriage and grown kids.
They needed help, yet when asked if they had taken their problems to their church family for support, the answer was “No, I don’t need other people, they just hurt you, all I need is my Bible and God and He will answer my prayers and take care of me.”
She was stunned and silenced by my answer.
“God is not enough.”
She said, “What do you mean…of course He is.”
I said, “No, He is not and the Bible clearly says so.”
I went on to explain that God directs us to bring ourselves before Him in prayer, offer thanksgiving, worship and study of His Word. God even gives us the Holy Spirit to dwell within us when we become Christians, to act as our Comforter, to mark us as God’s possession and as provide a tangible down payment or guarantee of our future redemption and resurrection.
Yet even with all of this “vertical” assistance, God says that we are to take the same needs to other human beings within the Body of Christ to receive “horizontal” assistance. God designed us so that some of our needs are to be met by fellow believers.
Here are just a few examples:
- “Bear one another’s burdens (Romans 15:1).”
- “Comfort one another (II Cor. 1:1-8).”
- “Encourage one another (Acts 14:22; I Thes. 2:11; Hebrews 10:5).”
- “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed, for the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”
- “God who comforts the depressed sent me Titus (II Cor. 7:6).”
- Believers “refreshing the spirit of another believer (I Cor. 16:18; II Cor. 7:13; II Tim. 1:16; Philemon 1:7).”
Today marks the 7-week mark after my heart valve repair surgery. I have had dozens of people tell me this week that I look and act just as I did before the surgery. You know, I could not have done it without your love and support. Between friends, family and people I have never met, we received cards, letters, gifts, flowers, whole blood, blood plasma, blood platelets, gifts and many words of encouragement. Everyone who visited me in the hospital gave me neck and back rubs. The spasms were so severe; they actually hurt worse than the surgical site.
God is good, He did meet many of my needs amidst the pain, and fellow believers just like you met many of my needs. So God clearly says, do not try to go it alone. We all need other believers to hold us up. Jesus did, Moses did, and Paul did.
Make sure you are in a church where there is Christian “community” you cannot live without it.
Thanks & Love,
Milan and Kay
Milan and Kay
Next week: “Mortality”