In England, more than nine million people in 2017 admitted to feeling lonely some or all the time. In response, the British government recently appointed a “Minister of Loneliness.” Loneliness can put people at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, dementia, depression and anxiety. Loneliness is said to be worse for health than smoking fifteen cigarettes a day! One lonely woman explained that what she lacked in her loneliness was a motivational support network that gives you direction on how to cope with problems.
Todays’s verse is certainly an answer for those who are lonely and lacking motivational support. Meeting together with other believers spurs us on toward showing love and towards doing good works (verse 24). Discouragement can so easily overtake us when we give up meeting together. We need to be stimulated and strengthened in our faith. We need to lift one another up and give one another support. The Lord knows we need to be together regularly with other believers.
A quick fix for my loneliness is to surround myself with other people. But sometimes it is not enough. What I need is that deeper connection that comes from being with people of like mind. It is only with other believers that I can have the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind (Phil. 2:2). By meeting together I am encouraged that I am not alone in my struggles and can draw strength from others. My faith is strengthened too when I can be the one doing the encouraging! He knows I do better in community than alone.
Thank you Lord, for Your encouragement through Your people!