After living overseas a few years, I was chatting after church with another expat who was adjusting to life abroad. She shared how the whole family believed their move for her husband’s work was the right thing to do. But then she mentioned how challenging the adjustment had been. If this was what God wanted them to do, why was it so difficult?
Just because something is good and right, doesn’t mean it will be easy. Every global worker is familiar with this tension. Feeling called by God to work overseas, we must then persevere through the challenges and difficulties that come with that calling.
Living in community can be very similar to this as it is good and right but not easy. We find a sense of belonging in places where there are common beliefs, goals, and desires. We see this in Acts 2:42-47, as followers of The Way are united by their faith in Jesus. They come together to listen to the Apostles’ teaching, fellowship, share meals with one another, and pray. Their commitment and generosity to one another were a witness to those around them, and people continued to be saved.
However, community doesn’t come without faults or struggles. As we turn to Acts 5, we see how messy things got with Ananias and Sapphira or to chapter 15 where Paul and Barnabas split ways. Just because we love Jesus doesn’t mean our sinful nature or disagreements won’t spark conflict and disunity, but this is not reason to quit fellowshipping together. As a matter of fact, it is the exact reason we need one another.
In order to fully experience the gospel, we must participate in community. Fellowship is “one of God’s chief means of grace in our lives.”* When we sin or disagree, we experience God’s grace as our community listens well, reminds us of God’s promises, and encourages us to press on in our faith. We experience the full expression of God’s love for us individually while doing life communally. And it is not easy, but it is good and right.
* Habits of Grace, by David Mathis, p. 145
Share about a community you’ve been a part of where you experienced God’s grace and love through the other people in that group or where you yourself have been God’s means of grace to the others.