One of the great blessings of being a Christian is that you are not the only one. Though at times you may, like Elijah (1 Kings 19:10), feel like you are alone in the fight, the reality is that there are many other kindred spirits fighting the same battles and bolstered by the same determination to reach the same eternal goal.
Paul wrote the following to his friends in the church at Philippi:
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now” (Philippians 1:3-5).
From these words we learn: (1) every time Paul thought of these folks, he was thankful for the memories they shared; (2) when he prayed for them, which was often, he did so with feelings of great joy; (3) what created his close relationship to them and prompted his pleasant emotions was their partnership in the promotion of a common cause – the Cause – the gospel of Jesus Christ. What a great church this must have been!
Some Practical Applications
• Write down the names of Christians for whom you have fond memories and offer a joyful prayer of thanksgiving to God for them.
• Send a note or email to those on your list expressing your gratitude for their friendship and/or influence on your life.
• Seek God’s help in becoming such a friend to others. Consult the Proverbs for wisdom on the subject of friendship (Prov. 3:28-29; 11:12; 14:21; 17:17; 18:24; 24:28-29; 27:9-10, 17).
• Work side-by-side and hand-in-hand with another in the promotion of the gospel: send letters or care packages to overseas missionaries; teach via correspondence courses; give financial aid to those who are actively teaching others, as the Philippians did to Paul (Phil. 4:15-16).
Thank God for Christian friends!