Torn by conflict among some of my Christian friends I wondered how I could survive my confusion over it in my spiritual life. I found help in Romans 15: 4-5, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
First, there is a lesson in every scripture. We can go to the Bible whenever confused or angry to find comfort and the encouragement that gives us hope.
Second, we cannot avoid challenges in our faith. That is how we build endurance, which is the ability to withstand hardship, adversity or stress. To be able to withstand, there first must be hardship, adversity or stress. The good news is in verse five that tells us God is the one who gives us the ability to endure. Though none of us get out of those challenges, God is with us through them, strengthening our hope.
Third, the same God who has given us hope has given us a spirit of unity. Drawing together as one body to worship our Lord should be as natural as seeking His presence in scripture and prayer.
I was worried about appearing to choose sides in the ongoing conflict when a dear friend said, “I stand with God who loves both sides.” I pray that this adversity will bring all those involved closer to God and to one another.
Confusion is not from God. I know my faith will survive because of the hope I have in Him.
Have you ever allowed others to transfer their negative feelings to your own faith?
Nancey, I agree. I, too, stand with God, who loves both sides. We are not to fight amongst one another over issues that aren’t vital to basic salvation, but as brothers and sisters, we pray together and discuss our differences in love and understanding. Thanks for being such a loving friend.
Brilliant post! Wow, Nancey, this post hit home. I found myself torn between two people in a recent conflict and I didn’t know how to sort it all out. I love the quote:”I stand with God who loves both sides.” I had to get alone with Jesus in the conflict and ask Him how He viewed the women. He showed me that I needed to declare present-future identity over them and to allow Him to define His role in their spiritual growth. He asked me to surrender the outcome to Him.
I sheepishly share with you that recently one of those women went to a place of negativity and vented about a series of events and I totally followed her. I listened to a CD in the car on the way home that night and was immediately convicted that I shouldn’t have followed her lead. I got my head back in the game. I apologized to Jesus. I began to commend people in the situation. I want to be considered a General of Encouragement for the Kingdom. It’s a non-negotiable that we build others up and seek to live as Jesus lives by loving as Jesus loves.