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Good and Right Doesn't Mean Easy

by MANDY POST COMMUNITY Culture adjustment Finding community God’s guidance & direction Discouragement
Good and Right Doesn't Mean Easy
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer… All the believers were together and had everything in common… And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Acts 2:42, 44, 47b

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

Closing Prayer
Praise you, God, for making us in your image as relational beings. Help us, Holy Spirit, to be faithful and committed to community in order to fully live out and experience the gospel and shine the light of Jesus to the world around us. Amen.
Book: Habits of Grace by David Mathis The third section of this book goes into detail on experiencing God’s grace through fellowship in community. It is a great reminder of why believers need to do life together.
Article: Captured. Committed. Contagious. by Marshall Segal I found this article encouraging for how to participate in a true Christian community.
Website: 9marks This website has very good resources for churches, and the link will take you to articles and resources specifically for doing life together.
Question for Reflection

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.

Mandy Post
November 23, 2022

After having our first child, I found acceptance and empathy in my local breastfeeding support group. While everyone was parenting differently, we all came together with the same desires: to see our babies nourish and flourish. There was another mom attending the group with her third child. Each month she encouraged me and shared her wisdom and advice. Her encouragement was important to my not giving up breastfeeding, and it spurred me on to continue being a part of the group even after our fourth child was born. That way I could in turn be an encouragement to other new moms.