I think when we are alone facing a trial, everything is much more difficult. We feel lost and confused, and it is easy to fall prey self-pity and defeat. However, when we surround ourselves by others going through the same difficulty, we find the support we need to continue on. God will handpick a diverse group of people walking the same road of difficulty to enter our season of hardship, buffering our resolve with the encouragement, motivation and accountability of others.
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5.11 (ESV)
I’ve experienced a time when I had to face a challenge alone, and I know God was with me every step of the way. God uses these special times to strengthen our hope and trust in Him. But I can honestly say that being part of an ensemble is way more enjoyable and bearable. I’m glad that God also leads us through dark valleys hand-in-hand with other Believers.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” – Ecclesiastes 4.9-10 (ESV)
I’m so thrilled to be training with other women for our bodybuilding competition. We are a diverse group indeed–each living in her own season of life, each working in her own unique career path, each trying to fulfill her own goals and each offering her own set of strengths. I gain a wider collection of insight when surrounded by these amazing women of faith. It’s almost like we’ve jumped into a whirlwind experience together, and our strengths are sharpening eachother’s weaknesses.
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27.17 (ESV)
Each woman shares her meal plans, her work out routines, her struggles, her words of encouragement and other recourses that help and encourage us while we train for our competition. We call ourselves “The Women of Strength,” and we know that much of that strength comes from our goal of working together. We speak words of truth into eachother’s lives, which includes both words of correction and words of affirmation. We don’t let our pride get in the way of becoming better in every area of our lives, including body, mind and soul.
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” – Proverbs 12.15 (ESV)
Unless God has chosen us to walk a dark path alone with Him, I would definitely encourage every person confronting a trial to find a healthy support group. Whether the trial is a personal stronghold, a painful season in life, a tragic occurrence or even a bodybuilding competition–we all need the support of others in order to overcome and find our own personal victory. God will intervene in our lives, but He does desire for His children to work together, pouring out His love and light onto the world. Not only will we find that we are getting blessed, we will discover that we are blessing others, as well!
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5.16 (ESV)