Troubling times will come. It’s inevitable. Jesus did say that in this world we will have tribulation (John 16:33). There is not much that we can count “for sure” in this world, but tribulation is a certainty. What’s so comforting, though, is the Savior’s next statement to His disciples, and therefore to us as His present-day disciples. He encourages us to be of good cheer for He Himself has overcome the world.
Because Jesus conquered (nikaó) the world, His disciples have become conquerors in Him. For this reason, we can take purposeful aim at living in and walking according to the peace that He has afforded us. But sometimes we need a little help in order to grasp the eternal perspective regarding the difficulties that surface in our lives. We need others to come alongside to help us shoulder the burden.
The enemy loves to make us feel like we are completely alone. I was sharing with a sister this morning that isolation and accusation are two of Satan’s most powerful weapons against the believer. If he can make us think that we’re the only one dealing with the issue or having the problem, he can isolate. If he can isolate, then he can attack with a greater tendency toward success. Accusation is the other weapon. When trouble arises and we have asked God’s forgiveness for our involvement, we must accept His forgiveness and move on. The enemy tries to block every effort we make to put it behind us. He is rightfully called the “accuser of the brethren,” for he engages every opportunity to try to make us feel shame and guilt—repeatedly (Rev. 12:10).
We need redirection.
We need others to help us push past the lies of the enemy. We need someone to be a beacon of light, pointing us to the true Light in God’s Word. Paul, writing to the saints in Rome, asserted, “Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification” (Rom. 15:1-2). Our focus must be God-centered and then others-centered but never self-centered. It doesn’t work in any other order!
In sharing with my sister in Christ, she insisted that she did not want to bother anyone, because she knows everyone has her own life. While we all have our own lives and own issues, we are not exempt from the totality of our responsibility as disciples of Christ. We are accountable to God and accountable to the body of Christ. We are to please our neighbor for his or her edification, despite having our own personal obligations.
Reach out to others and allow others to reach out to you. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). The law is fulfilled in this: love your neighbor as yourself (5:14). Never pack your schedule so tightly that you do not have time to weep with others (Rom. 12:15).