Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Friendship (04/04/05)
By Lisa Beaman
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One of her friends doesn’t believe in God. He says she is wasting her time and he doesn’t want to hear about it. Another is abusing drugs. She fears he has an addiction. She has been praying and searching for a way to share God’s truth to them, to save their lives and their souls. She doesn’t know what to do or say. She doesn’t know who to turn to or who to ask for help.
I wonder where the Christians are. Where is her peer support? Where is her fellowship? It’s commendable that she is out there striving to seek and save the lost, but without an adequate base of believing friends, I fear she is set up to fail.
I imagine that she doesn’t fit in with the church crowd and yet she’s still different from the kids of the world. What will happen to her if the pressure keeps increasing? Will she give in to the temptation and waste her youth away on a life of sin? Where will she go if her non-believing friends turn on her? Isn’t there anyone who can pray with her and listen to her as she cries?
What frightens me is the fact that she feels alone, and yet she is not. Many Christians, of all ages, are close to drowning in a sea of family, friends and peers who have turned their backs on God. Individually they try to make a difference and be a light to the world, yet because they feel alone, they become overburdened and frustrated.
Even the prophet Elijah suffered from feelings of isolation. In despair he cried out to the Lord, “I am the only one left and now they are trying to kill me too.” (I Kings 19:14) He may have felt like the only God-fearing person on earth, but he wasn’t. God told him that He had reserved “seven thousand in Israel – all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal.” (I Kings 19:18) Elijah, one of the most famous and dynamic prophets in Biblical history needed a band of believers for restoration and support.
Fellow Christians, we need that as well. We need to lay aside our differences, our pride, our prejudices and our insecurities. We need to focus on the one thing we all have in common: the saving grace of Jesus Christ. We need each other. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)
Together, with love, prayer and faith we can do great things. Together, we can build up the body of believers. Together we can love, encourage and support each other so that we will have the strength and the courage to share the truth of the Word to those who are lost.
Brothers and sisters, look for the lonely among you. Look for the student who can’t seem to fit in. Look for the stay-at-home mom who’s desperate for an outlet of adult conversation. Look for the men and women out in the workforce who are bombarded with cynicism and disbelief. Look for the Christian who is struggling without support from their family and loved ones. Look for the Church member who is simply going through the motions because they don’t feel the love of the believers around them. Look for them, lift them up in prayer and love them as Christ loves you.
The blood of Jesus Christ is a powerful bond that goes beyond denomination, race or social status. Use that bond to create lasting friendships and loving relationships. “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3)
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