Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Get INVOLVED in your brother’s trials. Rally around them. That’s what your network of church relationships is for. It’s a sphere of influence – a circle or web of church friendships that should give you at least eight or 10 people who will turn their attention to you, feel your pain, weep with you and walk through trials with you. When it’s your turn, you should have eight or 10 people to walk you through. One can chase 1,000, yet we are embattled! Get involved, and don’t be discriminating. Don’t be SURPRISED at their fiery trial (or mine) as if some strange thing is happening to them! Instead, remember Jesus said, if they hate me, they’ll hate you. Pray for them. Make their load lighter. If you do, you will receive a good reward because you were a partner with them in this. You had compassion, as though imprisoned or mistreated yourself! You had “sym-pathy” – a connection – because you are part of the body that has learned to become a unit through prayer, personal contact, encouragement – all those things. Get in there with your brother. Think like a family.
I’m talking about brotherhood like Uriah had. He didn’t know it, but King David slept with his wife, then called him off the battle field, hoping he would have sex with his wife, then everyone would think “that’s Uriah’s baby . . . it’s weird . . . he LOOKS exactly like King David” . . . but THAT’S what David was hoping would happen. He was trying to cover up his affair. Uriah was supposed to go in, hit the fridge, eat, hang out, watch TV, have sex with his wife . . . and it doesn’t happen. Instead, Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house. Why? Uriah said “The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? I will NOT do this thing!” So David told Uriah “wait here today and tomorrow and then I’ll send you back to the battle field.” Then slick David calls him, feeds him, get’s him drunk, sends him out, and he STILL sleeps with the servants! You know the story. David arranged his death – all because of Uriah’s LOYALTY to his fellow soldiers. Uriah considered them to be his brothers – his biological family! He was thinking “How could I do that, when my brothers are out in the field, fighting in this war?” He was with them emotionally! Do you think we could muster up a little sympathy and turn down a plate when we hear of disasters like 9/11, Hurricane Katrina? Earthquakes and Tsunamis? Oil Spills? War? Talk about laborers in the vineyard! This kind of sympathy is needed now more than ever because this world is full of hurting people! How could you NOT be able to find someone whose hurting? There are all kinds of things to pray for. What ARE we dealing with in Japan now? It’s proof that all a person has can be swept away in mere seconds. What if that were you?
Why was job sick, scraping puss off his arms with a piece of broken pottery? Someone who didn’t get INVOLVED in his problems would answer “well, I don’t know. Maybe he ate something weird and picked up some bug.” But a person who felt his pain would get involved. They’d find out exactly what was wrong with him. He was in a spiritual battle. Being the most godly man in the land – he became a topic of discussion in the board room of heaven – and Satan unleashed stuff on him. Now he’s sick. There was a spiritual battle going on, and it’s the reason he buried his children. People say “Tsunami’s and earthquakes are natural disasters – why pray about that? The answer is because we don’t know the difference. It could be because they were wicked. Or it could be they got cancer, or their kid got killed, or they have financial trouble, or lost their job, or lost their car, or lost their home because of their commitment to Christ – because they are a target of the enemy!
I know we can’t sustain sympathy all the way through for EVERYBODY’s trials, but can we at least pray when it comes to our attention? Weep with those who weep. DON’T become haughty and think you’re above it all because you are in between trials right now. Don’t say “Brian is always going through something. I don’t know WHAT’s going on with him. He must be doing some bad things. God MUST be mad at him. He lost his job last month, has marital problems, and this trial is on the heels of his other trials. It’s the third one this year! Remember that YOUR time may come. If you keep bearing fruit for Christ – your pruning will come. John 15:2 says any branch that bears fruit, he prunes it that he may bring forth MORE fruit). It will hurt and you’ll need someone to comfort you. So don‘t be high minded. Think “there go I, but for the grace of God.”
I don’t ever want to become calloused or insensitive to catastrophe. Due to global media and instant news, we hear of major disasters often. Are we at risk of becoming hardened or unsentimental? Can we no longer hear the cries of hurting people? The truth is, right about now, the world is FULL of frightened souls, so reach out more! Every phone call counts. Every card or letter counts. Every visit counts. Every gift counts. You’ve got what it takes to be a blessing.
Jesus had a staff of 12. Peter would cut you and cuss at you, Judas was stealing money, John was always laying his head on Jesus’ chest, and Thomas didn’t believe HALF of what Jesus said! God knew their human frailties, yet empowered them and sent them into the world to win souls! Sensitivity helps you become more responsive to the work of the Holy Ghost.
Nehemiah was the forman on a construction site. He helped build the wall in Jerusalem. Before that, he was the King’s cup bearer. Nehemiah was doing pretty well sampling the kings food making sure there was no poison. It was a high liability job, but he’s got gel in his hair. He’s dressing in really nice, clean clothes, living in the King’s palace. He’s in the presence of the king having one on one conversations with him. He’s sleeping in a nice bed, eating all the great stuff the king doesn’t feel like eating, and things are going pretty nicely for him. His life is going well, and then he sees one of his brothers and asks “how are things in Jerusalem?” “It’s not good. They are suffering. They are afflicted. They don’t even have walls around the city. The walls are broken down. It’s in bad shape.” Did Nehemiah laugh and say “those guys should have gotten out with me?” No, he heard the bad news, his heart breaks, he mourns and fasts and prays over it for several days. Yes, Jerusalem was in a mess because they’d sinned their way into captivity, but he prayed for the sins of Israel, putting HIMSELF in their place, saying “WE have transgressed. I and even my fathers have sinned against you.” The fact is, things may be fine for you, your paycheck keeps coming in, your marriage isn’t falling apart, nobody is passing over you for promotion – still – like Nehemiah – be willing to identify or have sympathy – even though your life is going just fine.
In closing, do you remember when we were little? Our mother would send us all to school, or out to play, and she’d say “now, remember – you guys are brothers. If one of you get into trouble, ALL of you better jump in!” What she was saying is “YOU’D BETTER GET INVOLVED!” We couldn’t just say “oh – that’s just my brother fighting again.” No. I
f you just walked away, you’d be in big trouble when you got home. You should have been there for them. The fact is, we’re gonna HAVE to help defend each other and protect each other. Because THAT’s what family does. They encourage each other. They step up and be there for each other. Always remember that they will know us by our love for one another.