We may never know how much encouragement our mere presence is to someone else. Case in point: the apostle Paul, arriving in Rome as a prisoner, was greeted by a crowd of believers; some who had come a great distance. "when Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage." (Acts 28.15)
It's easy to think of Paul as a strong and brave man with a pioneering spirit, who went about widely evangelizing the world in his day. Indeed, he was all these things, but he also needed help and encouragement as much as anyone.
The older I get, the more I appreciate the presence of like-minded believers; even if not a word is spoken. Being together with those who hold the same truths and values is immensely encouraging and uplifting. These people form my accountability group, and are role models worth emulating.
The anti-Christian sentiments that exist in increasing measure these days are enough to make even the bravest of us cowardly. Thus, when we see fellow believers - taking the same stand and fighting the same battle - we can, like Paul, thank God and take courage because of them.
A follower of Christ, living in isolation, is in greater danger than he/she will ever know. The risk of abandoning the faith and losing courage is very real. However distant or few, reach out to those who are like-minded for support, and to be supportive. We're in this together, and we need to stay in it together.
©Steve Taylor, 2016 --Used by permission
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