When you’re going through a difficult time, it may be hard to connect with your biblical community. You may feel like they don’t really understand what you’re experiencing, or that you’re an inconvenience to them when you’re not feeling or acting your best. However, God created us to dwell in a community, and His love, compassion, strength, and comfort are evidenced through the people He puts in your life.
If you’re going through a difficulty, medical or not, consider the ways you can draw strength from your biblical community:
Draw strength from your community’s help
It’s often hard to admit you need help—let alone accept it—from others who see your weakness. We want to convince ourselves and others that we can do everything that we need to do and, most certainly, take care of ourselves.
God doesn’t ask us to carry our burdens and trials alone, though. The Gospel story is all about Someone (Christ) stepping in to care for us when we could not, and saving us when we were powerless. This concept is reenacted as your Christian community surrounds you with support: By preparing a meal for you and your family, sitting and talking with you, helping you clean, or simply sending a message to say they’re thinking of you.
Draw strength from your community’s prayers
When your community is praying for you, they’re taking time out of their day to lift you and your needs up to God. Know that their prayers are an extension of their love for you. Even if your fellow CHM members on the other side of the country haven’t met you, their love for God compels them to love you and lift you and your needs in prayer.
There is great power in prayer. Throughout the Bible, we see examples of God moving powerfully through the prayers of His people. When people pray for you, God is surely at work in your life in a way that brings Him glory.
Draw strength from God through your community
God strengthens and encourages His people through their communities. Exodus 17:12, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Esther 4:16, and Ephesians 4:1-2 all point to that. Sometimes the Holy Spirit directly leads people to care for you in specific ways. In other instances, people act out of their God-given gifts to care for you as they see your needs arise.
You can access God through your community in several ways:
- Through Scripture they share with you
- Through the biblical truth they speak into your life
- Through their Spirit-led actions
God is comforting and caring for you through the encouragement and Spirit-led actions of your community. He puts community around you to bear your burdens (Galatians 6:2) and encourage one another (Hebrews 10:25).
Biblical community in action: Esther
Esther was stuck between a rock and hard place. The king of Persia was set to destroy her people based on misinformation, but should she go into see him uninvited, she would be put to death. It was losing proposition for her either way, unless God intervened.
She was not alone in this fight. Rather, she had her community of believers around her to carry her burdens.
In Esther 4:16, Esther tells Mordecai, her adoptive father and the one who urged her to go to the king, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”
Esther gathered strength from her people as they fasted and prayed on her behalf.
Just like Esther, we can gather strength from our community. God works through community—His hands and feet on earth—to strengthen, encourage and comfort you no matter what struggles you encounter.