“When we arrived in Macedonia there was no rest for us. Outside there was conflict from every direction, and inside there was fear. But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus.” 2 Corinthians 7: 5-6 NLT Have you ever felt the way Paul described? “Outside there was conflict and inside there was fear”? There are times in life (sometimes those times feel more like seasons) when we face uncertain circumstances or unwelcome conflicts from the outside world which make us fearful of what our future holds. Pay attention, however, to what calmed Paul’s spirit: the arrival of a friend. When we read 2 Corinthians 7, we discover that Titus arrived with a good report on the spiritual well-being of some mutual friends. Although his circumstances had not changed, the encouragement of a trusted friend brought Paul confidence and joy. Friends, we cannot always change our circumstances. Ministry and life will throw us curveballs, and we must deal with them. Yet, if we’ve invested into Godly friendships, the people with whom we surround ourselves can help buoy us! They can help us keep our heads above water. Are you investing into friendships with other believers? You need it! So do I. God often uses other Christians to motivate us, encourage us, and love us. And, yes, he also uses them to steer us back to the right path when we’ve been knuckleheads. Maybe you are in a new mission field, and trusted friends are scarce. Maybe you struggle with a sense of loneliness in ministry because you lack peers who understand your life. Whatever your situation, you are not alone. You have friends right here at Flourish. Our team serves alongside you on the front lines of ministry, and we know the value of a trusted friend’s encouragement. We’ve experienced first-hand the life-preserving comfort of a Godly friend in the midst of trials. The next time you deal with conflict on the outside and fear on the inside, confide in a trusted Godly friend. Connect with us here at Flourish. Don’t tread those waters alone. Let your spirit be buoyed by the arrival of a friend!
Published February 16, 2016