If God Be For Us
By Jon W. Quinn
Support groups are formed today for assistance in solving all kinds of problems. There are support groups for assistance in recovering from disease or accident; recovery from addiction; to lose weight; to deal with family problems; for self-improvement. It's a huge list, but you get the idea. Support groups are formed to help people succeed.
It is most certainly true that there is strength to be found in support and encouragement we receive from others. Those who have had similar needs to ours, and have found good answers, and are willing to share with others from their own experiences can give good advantages.
I believe that brothers and sisters in Christ can benefit from such as well. But beyond the social or human support, we need the support of God! If we are ever going to be as successful as we need to be in all areas of life; it will need to be with the goodness of God in our lives. To find human support, but turn away from God and His support might make one temporarily successful in the short term, but ultimately life will end in ruin.
We need the support of knowing we've been forgiven of our sin based on Christ's blood, and we need the support of God's Word to guide and direct us in life. Without any doubt, we need support. But God's help is the most important of all, but often in today's world, it is the least sought.
Another problem is sometimes people misunderstand what true support is. For example, someone trying to quit smoking may say, “You just need to be more supportive of me” and by that mean he wants you to go an buy him “just one more pack of cigarettes” and then he'll be able to quit. If you decline, then you are not being “supportive” he says. But true support does not just accept that what someone wants is always the support that he really needs. Sometimes true support is saying “No.” All some want is for their friends to “support" them in their activities, regardless of what those activities are or where they lead.
Christians are indeed called
upon to give support; to be kind and helpful, even sacrificial in helping
others, especially other Christians (Galatians 6:9,10). So, what are the ground
rules-how do we accomplish his the way the Lord wants us to?
Sin Must Not Be Supported
The best thing I can do to render needed support and encouragement to a sinner is not to support him in his sin. Today much of society expects you to “support and encourage” a person in living whatever “lifestyle” the person chooses to live. If you do not, then you are accused of being “unsupportive” and worse. Just recently, a morally conservative politician's daughter “came out of the closet” with regard to her homosexual behavior. It was heavily reported in the news that her lifestyle had led to a certain estrangement between them; and he was ridiculed for being “non-supportive” of his daughter. The fact is, his support took the form of trying to help her see that her life was headed in the wrong direction, and he was not going to just act like everything was fine when it wasn't. He knew that such behavior, if not repented of, will make it impossible for her to inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), and though it was no doubt a hard thing to do, he did it. Genuine support is sometimes tough, and not appreciated.
Think about it; have I really done my best for another by supporting him in that which will cost him his soul (Romans 6:23; Galatians 6:7,8)? It may well be (and most certainly is) that the best support to be offered in such and similar matters is to tell of the grace of God (James 5:19,20; Titus 2:11-13; 3:8). Certainly, as this is done, he needs to be approached as an equal, for I need the grace as much as he does! (Romans 3:23; 1 Corinthians 4:7,8). Not only must we offer the support form God given in His word, but we need to have confidence in the message and power of the gospel. This will help us to give support and help them to receive it (2 Corinthians 3:12,16).
In order to keep up with the
times, some denominations/religious organizations have rejected Biblical
teachings and actively support and even promote sin. Don't be surprised.
Religious leaders have done so for centuries (2 Timothy 4:2-4; Isaiah 5:20-21;
30:9-11). It does not matter who does the rejecting, those that reject God's
word are incapable of offering the deepest support people need.
We Can Do What Is Right Without Human Support or Approval
What's right is right. We can do what's right and good even when we are not supported by friends or our peers! Integrity is measured when we do what is right regardless (Romans 3:4). Personal responsibility in life can be discharged on a daily basis, even if those around you offer no encouragement at the time. “The buck stops here.” It will not be acceptable to excuse ourselves from doing the right thing because we had no human encouragement or support to do it at the time. It may be more difficult. It would be more pleasant to have the support of your companions, the community and the world! But the lack of such support is no excuse to deny the Lord His Lordship in our lives each and every day. One simply must let pleasing God outweigh pleasing man in importance (John 12:42,43).
Besides, standing alone for what is right can never really happen anywhere.
One of the saddest statements in the New Testament is made by Paul at the end of
his life. He had been arrested and imprisoned and would shortly put to death. He
“At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be
counted against them.”
(2 Timothy 4:16). Sad for Paul, but more sad for the ones who deserted him.
Paul had no support from those around him. But now notice the next verse:
“But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that through me the
proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear;
and I was rescued out of the lion's mouth.”
(2 Timothy 4:17). Yes, we can do what's right and good even when we are not
supported by others present at the time knowing that we always have the Lord's
support and strength as long as we walk in His ways and honor His Son.
Our Need For Divine Support
We need God. We need forgiveness through Christ so we can enjoy fellowship with God (1 John 1:6-10). Through our obedient response to the gospel, many good things become ours, given by the Lord. We need the milk and meat of His Word so we may learn how to make the right choices in life-to have discernment (Hebrews 5:12-14). We need the confidence and security that walking by faith in God brings (Philippians 4:11-13; 19; 1 John 2:5; 4:17-19).
Our highest achievement would
be to please God and have His approval by doing what is right. One day I will
stand before God in judgment. I will stand there either with or without the
support of Jesus, depending on whether I have been faithful to Him or not. I
want His support now, and I most certainly want it then.
Based on article by Warren Berkley