Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
The Bible is chock full of God’s great promises. We can take them to heart and meditate on them and treasure them and grow in personal piety. But if we think that means the Christian life is only “Jesus and me” then we are in trouble. Because there’s so much in today’s world that gives knockdown punches !
When I fall down, I need the help of others to be able to get back up. One of the great things about Christian life in community is how God gives us each other to give and receive encouragement.
Here’s a recent example : Awakening in the middle of the night, something from years ago started to infect my mind. I was replaying a very futile time in my life when my career hopes were getting dismantled; I was stuck about what my next step should be; and I had no one I could confide in for help. I felt heart palpitations start as those old thoughts combined with an ongoing fight with the cable company over billing errors and an intractable conflict in our small group.
In the middle of the night I knew that what God says is true, and that there were Bible verses available for me, but at that time, being able to quote Bible verses was not helping. Bible truth seemed elusive, abstract, and far away.
God provided the antidote : In the morning I requested prayer in my Thursday men’s group. A good friend and brother in Christ prayed that my physical heartbeats would be calm while at the same time I’d have more of a loving heart for the Lord and for people.
Are you stumbling and discouraged ? Is a friend stumbling and discouraged ? God loves it when we help each other back up !