Be sober-minded; be watchful.Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
You see Satan on the prowl. You see your fellow believers getting knocked down and their legs bucking underneath them. You see the things around them getting worse, life circumstances bringing their faith to a halt.
You see them getting stagnant, and in some cases, just downright giving in to the temptations before them.
What do you do, as a brother or sister?
What are we called to do?
Well, for ourselves, we are called to:
Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1Peter 5:9-10
But how do we stand firm in our faith?
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ 2 Corinthians 10:5
So what does that mean for helping out our fellow brother or sister who is struggling? –what can we do for them?
I think first it is good to acknowledge that we have been allowed to go through struggles in our past so that through them we might grow and then be able to help our brethren out of the hole they are falling into.
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32
But let us not hide behind the wall that says “I am clean now, but you don’t need to know what was in my past. And you certainly don’t need to know about what I have struggled with after I turned my life over to Christ.” That is not love. That is what God deems as judging another with a negative bias, rather than righteous judgement and discernment.
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5
Let us instead be bold enough to be transparent. Let us be courageous enough, through the conviction and the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit, to speak about the power of redemption in our own lives–the redemption that can only come through Jesus’ shed blood on the cross at Calvary.
When we have been brought out of our struggle, we can more easily and more readily see when our brethren is going through these same things, and as we are open to His leading, the Spirit will guide us in how to help them.
I believe when we see others struggling, it is important that we stand up and speak about what is going on. Bring it to light. Call it out for what it is.
But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible Ephesians 5:13
Let us be gentle, but yet bold and courageous. Instead of hiding behind facades and pretending we don’t know what is going on, let’s call it for what it is, so that it can be redeemed, restored, and made new again in Christ. Because pretending and hiding from the reality of the hurt only prolongs the pain and suffering of our fellow saints, and grieves our Holy Father.
When we see our brother or sister getting attacked, we who have been through similar circumstances have a responsibility to help them through their trial, as we were once helped through ours.
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:1-2
We can be there to encourage them and uplift them, all the while pushing them forward in their faith so that, not only do they not lose hope, but that they are strengthened and press on to win the prize.
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
After all, we are all members of the body of Christ.
so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:5-8
Let us not lose our patience with our fellow saint. Let us not find ourselves weary from doing good.
Let us instead press into Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, and allow Him room to work through us, encouraging our brethren in their walk when they don’t feel they can continue on much longer.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. Romans 12:3
And with that thought in mind, let us set out to help each other from a genuine place of love in our heart.
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Romans 12:9-13