But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus. 2 Corinthians 7:6
Do you ever notice that when things aren’t going well we tend to withdraw from the people we love?
Maybe we find we’re too busy to answer the phone. We ignore texts. We’ll cancel the lunch we had looked forward to with a friend.
When we need people the most, we often run from them. Have you ever considered why?
I have a suggestion for you, a reason why our flesh does all it can to convince us to separate from the people who love us. You know who governs your flesh, right? The enemy of your soul. And Jesus plainly revealed the distinct differences between His desires for us and our enemy’s.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
The thief—who has manipulated our flesh since the garden—wants to destroy us. And as he attempts to facilitate that destruction, he isolates us from the people who care about us. He convinces us to withdraw instead of connect.
Why would he do that?
Because God heals our souls through people. And the enemy doesn’t want us whole.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. James 5:16
Beloved, 1 John 1:9 assures us that confessing to God releases forgiveness and cleansing. But James offers another step on our journey to wholeness. God releases healing as we confess and open our hearts to people.
It makes sense when you think about it. God dwells in perfect fellowship with Himself, and He created us in His image. Life flows unhindered through agreement and unity with the Godhead. Disagreement and division sever that flow.
The enemy seeks to separate us from God and one another to block the flow of God’s life and power through His people.
No wonder Jesus asked,
“…that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” John 17:22-23
When people unite in love and godly purpose, God manifests. Jesus said so in Matthew 18:20.
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
God longs for people to unite in Him so that He can make Himself known. Which is why the enemy continually convinces us to separate.
But when we connect with other believers, we experience the grace that flows through divine unity.
Even the apostle Paul needed others to revive his heart.
In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy. For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus. 2 Corinthians 7:4b-6
I don’t generally think of Paul as a man who struggled with fear. But his own words testify to a season of affliction that left him afraid. Yet God faithfully comforted his downcast soul.
How did He do it? He sent a man. Titus. And Paul experienced this result. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.
Dear one, I don’t pretend to understand all the workings of God and why He does what He does. But I have learned to trust His Word. And His Word tells me that He releases healing through people.
So we have a choice to make. Will we continue to let hardship separate us from the body? Or will we unite and experience Paul’s blessing of overflowing joy in the midst of affliction?
Let me leave you with God’s design for His church.
Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:15-16
Beloved, when each of us grow up in every way in Christ, we carry divine power to grow others. When working properly, we build up and restore.
Love propels us. Love results. And life flows as God manifests.